Herbal medicine practitioner fined $2,664 for making ‘miracle’ claims

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The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has issued a Notice of Violation for $2,664 to a New South Wales-based herbal practitioner for an alleged violation of the Advertising code.

It is alleged that the individual advertised, on his social media, the use and supply of herbal and complementary medicine products, implying that these products could be used to treat and prevent coronavirus infection and COVID-19. The advertisement allegedly claimed the products were “a miracle cure for covid that no one talks about”. The wares themselves were advertised to “…fight COVID infection by reducing viral load,…fight cytokine storms, and reduce the risk of lung damage.”

Use of the “miracle” claim violates Section 9(1)(c) of the Advertising Code, which states that an advertisement for therapeutic products must not contain any statement, pictorial representation or design which, expressly or by implication, represents the products to be infallible, unfailing, magical or miraculous.

Certain herbal, homeopathic and natural medicines are exempt from the requirement to be listed on the Australian Therapeutic Goods Register. However, advertisers of exempt therapeutic goods must still comply with other requirements of the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989, including manufacturing rules and compliance with the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code.

The TGA encourages reporting suspected non-compliant advertising.

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