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Source: Australian Department of Health

An online meeting of the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Consultative Committee (TGACC) was held on 19 November 2020. TGACC members represent a diverse range of stakeholder organisations including consumer, health professional, industry and media bodies.

The TGA provided updates on advertising education activities, as well as compliance and enforcement activities. The TGA noted a continued focus on COVID-19 related matters, including the advertising of thermal imagery and other temperature measuring devices not included in the Australia Register of Therapeutic Goods.

The TGA advised members of the recent upgrades and changes to the advertising hub on the TGA website, which are intended to provide a better user experience. Changes include the publication of case studies and scenarios designed to assist advertisers to better understand the application of therapeutic goods legislation as it pertains to advertising and illustrate the way non-compliance is addressed. Two checklists have also been added to the website to assist advertisers to evaluate their advertising for compliance.

The TGACC considered two of the 22 recommendations arising from the independent review of the reforms to the therapeutic goods advertising framework conducted by Ms Rosemary Sinclair AM in early 2020.

TGACC representatives discussed the opportunity to refocus the TGACC to enhance its effectiveness as a collaborative forum focused on better outcomes for consumers (Recommendation 18). Representatives discussed opportunities for mutually beneficial collaboration through increased engagement between meetings. Representatives agreed that better two-way information sharing will result in improved compliance outcomes. The development of a TGACC work plan (Recommendation 19) was supported as a further tool to develop enhanced collaboration.

The TGACC discussed the progress made by its two working groups convened to review certain aspects of the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code (No.2) 2018 (the Code). The outcomes of the consideration of the working groups will guide next steps. To feed into this review work, TGACC members received a presentation from two member organisations regarding the requirements for the use of testimonials in therapeutic goods advertising.

TGACC representatives were generally supportive of improving the clarity of some Code requirements, whether through Code changes or guidance. The TGA discussed progress on the development of a Preliminary Regulatory Impact Statement in preparation for public consultation, which will be a key component of the Code review.

The next meeting of the TGACC will take place in February 2021.

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