Australia: News Life Media fined $56,340 for alleged unlawful advertising of medicinal cannabis

Here’s the official press release from the TGA

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) today has issued 3 infringement notices totalling $56,340 to News Life Media Pty Ltd for alleged unlawful advertising of medicinal cannabis on their popular lifestyle website Body+Soul.

It is alleged that an article published on Body+Soul promoted the use or supply of medicinal cannabis to treat serious diseases or conditions, such as anxiety and chronic pain, in contravention of the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989– external site (the Act).These references are considered restricted or prohibited representations and are not permitted in advertising for therapeutic goods unless prior approval or permission by the TGA.

Nick Henderson, acting Deputy Secretary of the Department of Health and Aged Care said, “Advertising prescription-only medicines, such as medicinal cannabis, directly to consumers is prohibited as it may create inappropriate demand and lead to unnecessary or harmful prescribing.

“Treatment options should only be determined by a health professional in consultation with their patient” Mr Henderson said.

“The TGA reminds businesses that the Act applies to anyone publishing information about therapeutic goods whether they are media outlets or the suppliers of those goods.

“Media platforms are responsible for ensuring their content does not directly or indirectly promote the use or supply of therapeutic goods to the public in a way that contravenes advertising requirements.”

Ensuring compliance with the advertising requirements of the Act across the medicinal cannabis industry is a priority for the TGA. These fines follow recent civil court actions and fines issued by the TGA for similar contraventions.

The TGA will continue to take strong enforcement action to address unlawful advertising of medicinal cannabis to the public.

If you suspect non-compliance in relation to therapeutic goods or their advertising, you can report it to the TGA at any time and it will be actioned in accordance with our regulatory compliance framework.

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