Australia’s TGA being the therapeutic goods regulator has implemented a new service to the consumers who can now report dodgy ads for medicines and medical devices through a single online form.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) is part of the Australian Federal Government’s Department of Health and Ageing and is responsible for regulating therapeutic goods. The TGA evaluates therapeutic goods before they are marketed and monitors products once they are on the market. It also assesses the suitability of medicines and medical devices for export from Australia and regulates manufacturers of therapeutic goods to ensure that they meet acceptable standards of manufacturing quality.

On July 1, 2018, the TGA launched a web hub bringing together news and information about the regulation of therapeutic goods advertising. This online resource contains tools for both consumers and advertisers, including fact sheets, e-learning modules and forms for reporting unfair or misleading advertising and submitting enquiries.

The new service arranged by the Therapeutic Goods Administration will see through that the TGA takes on the responsibility of the single body responsible for handling advertising complaints from 1 July 2018. And later on, this will be externally reviewed after three years to confirm that it is delivering the intended benefits and meeting community expectations.

The new complaint form makes it easy for anyone to lodge complaints about advertisements for therapeutic goods. The TGA is now the sole body for handling complaints about medicine and medical device advertisements aimed at the public, with new sanctions and penalties for advertisers who do not comply with regulations.

The simplified and improved advertising complaints arrangements will benefit advertisers, health professionals, and consumers by providing, through the TGA, a single body for lodging, handling and reporting on the final outcome of their complaint. This approach will help deliver consistent decision-making, compliance, and enforcement.

Consumers can use the hub to understand the rules that protect them against unfair or misleading ads for therapeutic goods.

Advertisers can learn how to meet the requirements of a compliant advertisement through e-learning modules on the hub. The first module on the basics of therapeutic goods advertising regulation is now available, with future modules planned for the coming months. Advertisers can also check whether a particular therapeutic good can be advertised to the public by using a simple online decision tool.

The revised Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code has also been published, with more updates and additions to resources planned throughout the year.

The TGA will release more information about the new arrangements on its website soon

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