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Submissions received: Proposed therapeutic goods advertising code guidance

5 April 2019

Between 9 August and 4 October 2018, the TGA sought comments from interested parties on the proposed guidance to support the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code (the Code).

Thirty-five submissions were received from industry and consumer peak bodies, sponsors, government agencies, healthcare and health professional bodies, as well as the advertising, publishing and broadcasting sectors.

We thank those individuals and organisations that lodged submissions for their valuable contribution. Your feedback has helped inform the finalisation of the guidance to support the Code.

All submissions that gave permission to be published on the TGA website are available below in PDF format.

Submissions

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Summary

Stakeholder comments and suggested changes to the advertising guidelines were addressed and incorporated where possible. Stakeholder comments also suggested a number of important amendments to the Code. The final guidelines were published to coincide with the making of the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code (No.2) 2018 on 31 October 2018.

The consultation guidelines included a proposal for guidance around the use of 'natural' claims. As a result of the significant feedback in this area, guidance on this subject was removed from the published guidelines to allow for further work and consultation. The TGA is progressing a position on the use of such claims in advertising through the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Consultative Committee.

The guidelines are intended to be a living document, and will be updated as demand for guidance on particular aspects of the Code emerges.

Through this consultation process, a number of stakeholders called for a delay to the start date for the Code (scheduled for 1 January 2019). The TGA responded to this in late October 2018 by committing to a compliance and enforcement discretion policy for 2019, under which complaints about advertising that fully complied with the previous Code may be treated with discretion.

Through this consultation, concerns were also raised about the advertising framework more broadly. Where appropriate, concerns are being addressed, including significant improvements that have now been made to the complaints outcomes portal. See The first six months: embedding the TGA advertising reforms for more information about our achievements to date and our future plans for the advertising framework.