Australia’s drugs regulator, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), on Tuesday issued 73 infringement notices totaling $972,360 to medical cannabis companies that claimed their products could treat serious medical conditions, including cancer and epilepsy.
MGC Pharmaceuticals Ltd was issued 23 notices totaling $306,360, Cannatrek Ltd was issued 22 notices totaling $293,040, and Little Green Pharma Ltd was issued 28 notices totaling $372,960 for the alleged unlawful advertising of medical cannabis products on their websites and social media platforms. The TGA said that some of the ads in question “suggested or implied that particular medicinal cannabis products were recommended or approved by a government authority.”
“Advertising of prescription-only medicines directly to consumers 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.” — TGA in a press release
The TGA said, “the use in advertisements, of claims about a serious disease or condition, is also unlawful without express permission from the TGA because Australians facing a serious disease or condition are a particularly vulnerable consumer group.”
In a statement to the Guardian, MGC said it “cooperated fully with the TGA to remedy the issues raised, including removing all posts of concern from its social media channels, some of which were third-party posts, and placing the company’s website into maintenance.”
The company’s website on Wednesday remained under maintenance with a note that it “is going through a rebranding.” The websites for Cannatrek and Little Green Pharma remain online and functional.
All dollar figures in AUD.
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