TGA – Chemist Warehouse Resolution – Distribution of samples of therapeutic goods at public events

I recently became aware of a TGA regulatory decision about this matter dated 26 September 2018. The TGA had found that Chemist Warehouse proposed to include therapeutic goods in seat cushions badged with their company name at the 2018 AFL and NRL Grand Finals.

It said the TGA has worked with Chemist Warehouse to ensure that none of the seat cushions to be placed at the NRL Grand Finals will contain therapeutic goods other than some approved sunscreen samples. The AFL Grand Final samples will also only contain cosmetic and other products and some menthol lozenges.

In fact, a complaint had been submitted to the TGA after the 2017 AFL Grand Final when Chemist Warehouse distributed 110,000 cushions and sample packs to patrons. The packs contained a free sample of Swisse Ultiboost Magnesium tablets (60), and an exclusive offer (buy one, get one free) for the entire Voost range of complementary medicines including cranberry, glucosamine, fish oil, memory tablets and sleep tablets (illustrations below).

The complaint alledged that the Chemist Warehouse promotion breached the Object of the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code and the spirit of s.4(8). In addition, the claims made on the product pack breach s.4(1)(b), 4(2)(a), 4(2)(c) 4(2)(f) and 4(2)(j) of the Code. Furthermore, the Chemist Warehouse Voost Exclusive Offer (buy one, get one free) breached s.4(8) of the Code.

Typically, no determination or outcome of this complaint was ever received from the TGA nor was any published. However, it’s nice to know that the TGA have subsequently “worked” with Chemist Warehouse to stop this happening again. It would have been nicer if the TGA had informed the complainant that action had been taken!

Chemist Warehouse CEO Mario Tascone distributing sample bags at the MCG on 28 September 2017
Contents of the sample bag
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About Dr Ken Harvey

Public Health Physician, Medical activitist
This entry was posted in Advertising, Complementary medicine, Pharmaceutical Promotion and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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