The appearance of misleading terms and claims on websites and social media has attracted the attention of the TGA.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration in Australia (TGA) has advised that fines were imposed via the Federal Court for misleading advertising by Peptide Clinics Australia (Peptide Clinics Pty Ltd), to the tune of $10 million (for breaches of advertising prescription-only medicines to the public).
$10 million penalty ordered against Peptide Clinics Pty Ltd for advertising breaches!
Today the Federal Court ordered that Peptide Clinics Australia (Peptide Clinics Pty Ltd) pay $10 million to the Commonwealth for breaches of the mandatory rules for advertising of medicines, including the ban on advertising prescription-only medicines to the public.
– Australian Government, Department of Health, Therapeutic Goods Administration
The substantial penalties imposed reflect the very real dangers to public health and safety and the appalling conduct of Peptide Clinics. This was particularly due to the clinic giving the impression that medical practitioners were involved in the business, misleading consumers to think that those practitioners were acting in their best interests.
We’ve talked about compliance in Advertising Therapeutic Goods in Australia before but this dollar figure and what led to the fine, are worth exploring in more detail.
The specific issues included advertising Schedule 4 substances (prescription only medicines) on the company’s website and on social media channels, advertisements using the word “peptides”, advertising prohibited and restricted representations, and more.
Peptide Clinics Advertising Breaches
The Federal Court accepted the Secretary’s submission that Peptide Clinics – deliberately and recklessly pursued its own financial self-interest at the expense of its legal obligations and the interests to the health of the public.
The responsibility of product Sponsors in Australia is to ensure that their advertising is –
- Not misleading or likely to mislead, including in its claims, presentations, representations and comparisons.
Use of words that consumers do not understand like ‘peptides’ or specific diseases that require proper diagnosis by a registered health professional (such as cancer or arteriosclerosis are not allowed.
Also, reference to areas related to consumer insecurity and vanity such as anxiety, anti-ageing, body-building, tanning, weight loss, premature ejaculation, hair loss and insomnia relief, were called out as areas of concern for TGA.
This civil court proceeding and the potential for criminal offences and jail time are just not worth the risk to you or your business.
Adjutor Healthcare Pty Ltd, offers a range of services for prescription and medical device clients to ensure that they comply with the Therapeutic Goods Act as well as the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code and recent updates.
Through our associates internationally, we also ensure advertising compliance in excess of 90 countries.
If you are unsure of your compliance status or would like training, guidance or assistance with compliance in advertising, please contact us for a confidential discussion.