The TGA Targets Unacceptable Advertising

29 May 2017

sara bird

by Dr Sara Bird

Female patient having a cosmetic consultation

It is illegal to advertise prescription-only products to the general public.

The TGA recently provided a reminder to health practitioners and cosmetic/beauty clinics that it is an offence for a person to publish or broadcast an advertisement that refers to Schedule 4 (prescription-only) substances. The offence carries a maximum penalty of $10,800 for an individual and $54,000 for a body corporate (from 1 July 2017 these will increase to $13,200 for individuals and $63,000 for body corporates).

The TGA reported some health practitioners and cosmetic/beauty clinics are advertising prescription-only products to the general public.

Terms that are not acceptable in advertising include:

  • Botox, Dysport (botulinum toxin)
  • Restylane, Perlane, Dermalive, Juvederm (hyaluronic acid)
  • Collagen, Zyderm, Zyplast, Cosmoplast, Cosmoderm (collagen)
  • Aquamid (polyacrylamide)
  • Newfill, Nufill, Sculptra (polylactic acid).

Acceptable general terms in advertising include:

  • cosmetic injections
  • anti-wrinkle injections/treatments
  • wrinkle and lip enhancement/fulfillment/augmentation
  • injections/treatments for lips or to enhance pouting of the lips.

Other words or phrases with similar meaning may also be used, provided that they do not refer to specific products or ingredient names.

AHPRA has an increased focus on advertising by health practitioners.

If you are advertising health services, you should also ensure you are familiar with the AHPRA Guidelines for advertising regulated health services.


This blog contains general information only. We recommend you contact your medical defence organisation or insurer when you require specific advice in relation to medico-legal matters.



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