Image for The buzz intensifies over the latest TGA Restrictions

The buzz intensifies over the latest TGA Restrictions

January 30, 2024

Further to the recent TGA announcement on the restriction of advertising guidelines banning the use of terms ‘anti-wrinkle injection’, ‘dermal filler’ and ‘anti-ageing’ when promoting these services, industry feedback is constantly flooding in with concerns that these restrictions will create consumer confusion.

The TGA argues that while these are cosmetic treatments, they are delivered using scheduled 4 drugs that require a doctor’s prescription. As such, the TGA believes that such procedures are classified as “medical” and therefore any advertising should not promote how the treatment is performed.

Since the announcement, social media has been abuzz on numerous platforms including APAN’s.

“Such an odd change.  It feels almost like infringing on speech by dictating descriptive words.  I understand brand terms, but if we can’t describe the service then that’s a pretty great way to confuse everyone involved,” says Jon Ogden, Managing director at Youth Lab.

“Thank you for taking action, APAN,” said Iola Ciavarra, Director of Reveal Aesthetics.

The overall feedback from the industry has been that these restrictions would create consumer confusion, as the TGA recommendations of being limited to the statement “treating of wrinkles” is not only vague but may not be an accurate description of some of the services. Injectables are not just used for wrinkles, they can also be used for correcting features. 

Another person stated, “If I was about to consider a treatment for improving my features, I would want to know how the practitioner intends to achieve this and the method of operation.  It is only natural that I would expect full disclosure of what I would be receiving.”

Since communicating with the TGA, we have received the following response:

“Dear Tina

Thank you for your enquiry on behalf of your members regarding the changes relating to cosmetic injections.

We will be in touch with you shortly to provide further clarity. In the meantime, you can be assured the TGA will not, for now, be taking enforcement or compliance action where the generic terms for prescription-only cosmetic injections are referred to in the context of indicating that a clinic can provide these.

Consistent with the TGA’s approach to compliance, we will seek to achieve high levels of voluntary compliance by effectively engaging with and educating the regulated community, with clear guidance on how to comply.”

Kind regards,

Advertising Enquiries Team

Advertising and Compliance Education and Policy Section (ACEPS)

Regulatory Compliance Branch | Regulatory Practice and Support Division

Australian Government, Department of Health and Aged Care

Location: Fairbairn Office, Canberra, ACT

PO Box 100, Woden ACT 2606, Australia

Considering the above letter, it is our understanding that the TGA is open to industry input.  This is very promising.

At this stage, APAN believes that the course of action to influence any potential amendments would carry greater weight if industry societies and representative bodies reached a mutually agreed consensus on a recommended amendment that would contribute to a better solution. Reaching a united consensus that each society individually communicates to the TGA in their own words will demonstrate to the TGA that the industry is united and is keen to assist in achieving a more workable potential solution, while also adhering to the important consumer safety requirements.

After all, the role of industry societies and associations is to represent the collective voice of their members and industry representatives, while also pursuing best practice standards that are aligned with existing regulations.

“As industry bodies, I believe that this task falls within our duty of care, as collectively, we represent the majority of both practitioners and clinics who expect us to represent them at this level.  Furthermore, at the TGA’s admission ‘for the cosmetic industry this means that the advertising of the service provided remains outside of the jurisdiction of the Act’, this gives us some negotiating power for a potential review of these restrictions,” Tina Viney said.

We will continue to keep you informed of any developments. Meanwhile, we welcome your recommendations at this crucial time, so please forward them directly to our office or join our poll online in our Facebook group

Ph: 07 55930360 | info@apanetwork.com

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