As part of the Department of Health, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) exists to ensure that therapeutic goods in Australia are safe, fit for their intended purpose and don’t mislead consumers.

These include everyday household items, such as vitamins and sunscreens, through to goods used to treat serious conditions, including prescription medications, vaccines and surgical implants.

On 29 June 2018, the TGA announced the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code 2018 will replace the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code 2015.

The 2018 code presents four key things brands should be conscious of for any new campaigns (and current long-term campaigns)

  1. Delay: The changes come into effect on 1 January 2019, giving brands time to familiarise themselves with the changes and update existing materials to ensure they are compliant with the new Code
  2. What has changed: The only change to the 2015 Code is to Schedule 3 (Pharmacist Only) medicines statement. When advertising medicines that are included in Schedule 3 of the Poisons Standard, brands will have the choice (after 1 January 2019) of using either of the below statements:
  • ‘Your pharmacist’s advice is required;’ or
  • ‘Ask your pharmacist – they must decide if this product is right for you’
  1. Approvals: Ads for medicines which appear in specified media will continue to require pre-approval until 1 July 2020. Applications will be assessed against the Code in place when the application is received by the TGA. This includes ads in:
  • Mainstream media
  • Broadcast media
  • Cinematograph films
  • Displays, including posters in shopping centres, in or on public transport and on billboards
  1. Assessment of complaints: Any complaints made about pre-approved advertisements, will see ads assessed against the version of the Code under it was approved. For all other ads, the version of the Code will depend on the date/s the ad was published or aired

If you have any questions about the changes about the changes, please contact: