A series of recent enforcement actions by the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), including the commencement of legal proceedings against Lorna Jane for their “anti-virus activewear, demonstrates that the TGA is treating advertising breaches related to Covid-19 as a top priority. Lorna Jane allegedly claimed that its ‘anti-virus activewear’ prevents and protects against infectious diseases with the implication being that it protects against COVID-19.
It is essential to be mindful of promotional claims related to COVID-19 for therapeutic goods to avoid hefty penalties.
Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration
The advertising of healthcare products is regulated by the TGA under the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 (Cth) and Therapeutic Goods Regulations 1990 (Cth), and the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code (No. 2) 2018 (Cth), as well as the ACCC.
The TGA monitors and investigates suspected illegal activity in relation to therapeutic goods. In the event of a breach, the TGA has a range of compliance and enforcement tools, including criminal or civil court proceedings, which can result in substantial penalties, fines or imprisonment.
In light of the current enforcement activity, it is important when advertising therapeutic goods in Australia to ensure not to have any claims that include references to COVID-19 unless express permission has first been granted by the TGA and ensure that claims are not misleading or deceptive.
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