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Alleged unlawful medicinal cannabis advertising costs $132,000

The TGA has issued infringement notices to the company Naturally Elevated Pty Ltd and an individual for the alleged unlawful advertising of medicinal cannabis on websites and social media pages.

The company allegedly promoted the use or supply of prescription-only medicinal cannabis. It is also alleged the advertisements made unapproved references to the treatment of serious diseases or conditions, known as prohibited and restricted representations.

Eight infringement notices totalling $132,000 were issued to the company and 2 infringement notices totalling $6,600 were issued to an individual.

Medicinal cannabis products are prescription-only medicines that cannot be advertised to Australian consumers. Advertising prescription-only medicines directly to consumers undermines the doctor-patient relationship and may create an inappropriate demand for medicines which may not be right for the individual.

The TGA reminds individuals and businesses that unlawful advertising of medicinal cannabis is a breach of the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 (the Act) for which serious penalties can apply, including fines, or civil or criminal court action.

Ensuring compliance with the advertising requirements of the Act across the medicinal cannabis industry is a priority for the TGA, and these fines follow other large fines issued by the TGA for similar contraventions. In 2022-23, the TGA issued 101 infringement notices (totalling $1,292,040) for alleged unlawful advertising of medicinal cannabis.

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