TGA whacks pharmacy for unlawful advertising

A pharmacy in Victoria has been hit with 17 infringement notices for the unlawful advertising of therapeutic goods by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).

The 17 notices total $214,200 to Net Pharmacy.

The advertisements, published on two websites, were for prescription only therapeutic goods that included peptides, Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators (SARMs) and hormones.

Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 (the Act) prohibits advertising to the general public of a substance, or a good containing a substance, included in Schedule 4 (prescription only medicine) of the current Poisons Standard.

One of the websites also allegedly promoted the use of stem cells. Stem cells are a type of human cell and tissue product that are regulated as biologicals and cannot be advertised to the general public.

It is alleged that one of the website advertisements included a reference to cardiovascular disease. Under the Act, representations concerning a serious form of a disease, condition, ailment or defect, such as cardiovascular disease, are restricted representations. The use of restricted representations in advertisements for therapeutic goods is unlawful without the express permission of the TGA.

The TGA takes action against advertising breaches

The TGA reminded advertisers that it takes action against advertising breaches.

The regulatory scheme is important to the safety of Australian consumers and the TGA investigates suspected unlawful activity in relation to therapeutic goods.

A range of compliance and enforcement tools are available and where necessary; this may include criminal or civil court proceedings, which can result in substantial penalties, fines or imprisonment.

Any person, including businesses, must comply with the requirements for advertising. The TGA encourages online advertising complaints to prevent potentially serious consequences.

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