The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has published the new version of advertising guidance for businesses involved with medicinal cannabis. This guidance clarifies the application of the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 and related legislation as it applies to the advertising of medicinal cannabis.
Advertising is not limited to specific types of media and can include social media, web pages, mass communications, and articles.
The TGA reminds businesses that it is unlawful to advertise, indirectly or directly:
prescription medicines such as medicinal cannabis
consultations for, or prescribing of, medicinal cannabis as part of a health service.
This prohibition extends to the use of synonymous words for medicinal cannabis in advertisements such as ‘plant medicine’, or any word that becomes colloquially known as, or synonymous with, medicinal cannabis, as well as the use of medicinal cannabis in business names including logos or pictures.
Advertisements for health services that mention medicinal cannabis, either directly or indirectly, will likely be taken as unlawful advertisements for medicinal cannabis.
Care must be taken to ensure advertisements for health services do not promote the services as a means to obtain a prescription for medicinal cannabis, as this would amount to the advertising of medicinal cannabis, which is prohibited. Appropriate treatment options involving prescription medicines should be determined in consultation between a treating health professional and their patient.
The TGA conducted a targeted consultation on this guidance.
Deterring and disrupting unlawful advertising of medicinal cannabis is a compliance priority for the TGA. We take strong compliance and enforcement action to address unlawful advertising of medicinal cannabis. Actions we have taken include issuing infringement notices and court action.