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TGA action against Peptide Clinics Pty Ltd for alleged advertising breaches

14 December 2018

The Secretary of the Department of Health has begun Federal Court proceedings against Peptide Clinics Pty Ltd, trading as Peptide Clinics Australia, alleging breaches of the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 (the Act) and the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code 2015 (the Advertising Code).

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The application and statement to the Federal Court are available.

This legal action follows an investigation by the Therapeutic Goods Administration.

Peptide Clinics Australia is alleged to have advertised compounded prescription only therapeutic goods, including 'peptides', on its website and other social media platforms, accessible to both registered customers and the public. It included references to serious forms of diseases, and to conditions such as anxiety and depression. These references require approvals or permissions, for which it is alleged there are none.

The advertising is also alleged to be in breach of the Advertising Code because it contained statements, claims and implications that the advertised peptides were safe or alternatively could not cause harm, and encouraged inappropriate use of the medicines. The promotion of these peptides to consumers is also alleged to have contained scientific information that was inaccurate, imbalanced and misleading.

The use of the peptides and other prescription only therapeutic goods sold by Peptide Clinics Australia could result in serious harm to consumers' health and safety, particularly as it is alleged that the products are not used with adequate or appropriate medical supervision.

Yesterday, Peptide Clinics Australia gave an undertaking to the Court that it would remove the relevant advertisements from its website pending final hearing of the matter.

When the matter is heard by the Court next year, the Court will be asked to impose financial penalties, and to issue declarations and final orders requiring the removal of any references for which approvals or permissions are required, as well as the removal of any other information in breach of the Advertising Code.