Advertisers of complementary medicines

Do you advertise to the public using print media, cinema, billboards or other public displays?

You need to know about changes coming to advertising pre-approvals.

In the lead up to the abolition of the therapeutic goods advertising pre-approval requirements in June 2020, the Complementary Healthcare Council of Australia (CHC) will cease accepting applications for pre-approval in November 2019:

  • from 14 November 2019, CHC will not accept any new applications for advertising pre-approval
  • the TGA is making alternate arrangements for preapproval services for these types of advertisements until 30 June
  • applications received by CHC before 14 November 2019 will be processed and decided, with final decisions for all applications to be made by 27 January 2020.

The TGA is working on alternate arrangements to replace CHC’s services. We cannot announce these until the Government has approved the alternate arrangements and made any necessary changes to the Therapeutic Goods Regulations 1990 (the Regulations). We expect the new arrangements will start by late November or early December 2019 at the latest.

For applications that must be submitted between 14 November 2019 and the commencement of the new arrangements, these may be submitted to the TGA. These will be forwarded to the new service provider once the new arrangements start.

Application fees will not change from those already published on the website.

Applicants should note that the CHC will be closed for the Christmas Holidays from 21 December 2019 to 5 January 2020.

What do advertisers need to do?

If you…Then…
Are seeking a pre-approval decision for a complementary medicine advertisement in print, cinema, billboards or other public displays before early December
  • Lodge your application with CHC as soon as possible.
  • High quality applications for compliant advertisements and other straight-forward decisions (e.g. re-approval of an expired approval with no changes to the advertisement) will be given priority and decided quickly.
  • Poorer applications may end in refusals as time runs out for CHC to make its final decisions in January.
  • After 20 January 2020, decisions on applications with CHC will be made on the information available at the time of the decision. This will include refusal where the requirements for approval have not been satisfied. Applicants will still have the right to request a review of the decision (Regulations 5M and 5P).
  • Don’t book your advertising space until you receive an approval.
  • Subscribe to the TGA Advertising email list to be notified of the alternate arrangements for your future applications.
Are considering applying between 14 November and the start of the new arrangements (late November/early December) • We strongly recommend that you wait for the start of the new arrangements.

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