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Advertising to the public

Complying with the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code (No. 2) 2018

16 July 2020

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Minor changes to the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code (No.2) 2018 came into effect on 30 July 2019. We are currently updating this guidance to reflect the changes.

Therapeutic goods are not usual items of commerce. Advertising of therapeutic goods requires a higher ethical standard than may apply for ordinary consumer goods. Consumers rely on therapeutic goods for their health. Determining the appropriateness of a therapeutic good can be difficult for a consumer and it is important that promotional material is truthful, balanced and not misleading. Advertising should give adequate information on the risks and cautions around a product and recommend to seek health professional advice where appropriate. As a result there is specific legislation that applies to the advertising of therapeutic goods to consumers (over and above Australian Consumer Law, which regulates advertising generally) and applies to therapeutic goods through the requirements under the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 and subordinate regulation. The regulation of advertising reflects the importance of consumers being properly informed so that they can select treatment options appropriately for use in their own and their family's healthcare.

When advertising therapeutic goods to the public, advertisers must comply with the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code (No 2) 2018 (the Code), which is the cornerstone of the therapeutic goods advertising regulatory framework. Not all therapeutic goods are allowed to be advertised to the public including biologicals, goods containing a Schedule 4 or Schedule 8 of the Standard for the Uniform Scheduling of Medicines and Poisons (the Poisons Standard), and goods containing a Schedule 3 substance not included in Appendix 8 of the Poisons Standard. More information is available on these restrictions and others in: Australian Regulatory Guidelines for Advertising Therapeutic Goods (ARGATG).

The ARGATG also has information on:

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