Bayer still balks at CRP & TGA Berocca multi-vitamin decision

In October 2010, I complained about the promotion of this product.

On 18 November 2010, Jane Halton, Secretary of the Department of Health & Ageing, presented Bayer Australia with the Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI) Marketing Award for the best launch of a consumer healthcare product; their “Berocca Performance Twist N Go launch campaign”. This award was said to recognise Quality Use of Medicines (QUM), innovation, marketing and sales best practice, and consumer focus.

In March 2011 the CRP upheld my complaint. The CRP agreed that claims Berocca was clinically or scientifically proven to have benefits in relation to concentration, tiredness, or stress, or that it could have immediate or rapid benefits in relation to concentration, tiredness, or stress, were unverified, likely to arouse unwarranted expectations, and misleading.   The CRP request to withdraw these claims. Bayer refused.

In May 2011 the CRP notified the TGA of Bayer’s non-compliance with their request.

On March 8, 2013 the TGA finally upheld the CRP’s determination and issued a regulation 9 “order” for compliance.

Bayer then asked for a judicial review of the TGA decision in the Federal Court but the move was dismissed with Bayer ordered to pay $20,000 of the TGA’s costs of the legal proceedings.

Bayer has now asked Federal Health Minister Tanya Plibersek for a review of the TGA decision.

In short, Bayer’s claims for Berocca have now been dismissed by two independent bodies; the CRP and the TGA (who conducted their own new review). But still they dispute the umpire’s verdict; presumably because the longer the delay, the more sales they make!

What a wonderful system!

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About Dr Ken Harvey

Public Health Physician, Medical activitist
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