The TGA has issued infringement notices totalling $239,760 to two companies running medicinal cannabis clinics, Australian Institute of Medicinal Cannabis Pty Ltd (8 notices, $106,560) and Biologics Research Institute Australia Pty Ltd (10 notices, $133,200) for the alleged unlawful advertising of medicinal cannabis products on their websites and social media platforms.
The companies allegedly promoted the use of unregistered prescription-only medicinal cannabis products. TGA further alleges that the advertising included unapproved references to serious diseases or conditions, including cancer and epilepsy. Some advertising also allegedly suggested or implied that particular medicinal cannabis products were recommended or approved by a government authority.
Prescription-only medicines cannot be advertised to consumers in Australia as it undermines the doctor-patient relationship and may create an inappropriate demand for particular medicines which may not be right for the individual. Businesses can advertise prescription-only medicines exclusively to health professionals as long as those advertisements are not accessible to the public.
This regulatory action follows infringement notices issued to three other companies, also for the alleged unlawful advertising of medicinal cannabis.
Ensuring compliance with the import, advertising and supply requirements of the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 in relation to medicinal cannabis is a compliance priority for the TGA.