The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has issued four infringement notices totalling $50,400 to Brisbane based company Allpulse Technologies Pty Ltd.
In May 2020, the company allegedly advertised on its website a medicine containing hydrogen peroxide for internal therapeutic use that was not included in the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG). Unless a specific exemption, approval or authority applies, therapeutic goods must be entered in the ARTG before they can be lawfully supplied or advertised in Australia.
Hydrogen peroxide is a substance used to bleach human hair and sometimes for topical first aid or dental purposes. However, the TGA is not aware of any accepted clinical or scientific evidence to substantiate therapeutic claims in relation to the ingestion of hydrogen peroxide. The TGA is particularly concerned about potentially harmful effects from internal administration. Swallowing hydrogen peroxide can cause serious adverse reactions and poses a significant risk to health that could result in hospital admission. Side effects range from nausea, vomiting, blistering, burns, embolism, permanent disability and death.
The company’s website also allegedly advertised other unapproved goods using unauthorised representations. These goods included ‘Stabilized Electrolytes of Oxygen’ (SEO), which was promoted for the treatment of serious conditions such as cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. Under the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989, cancer is a prohibited representation and Alzheimer’s disease is a restricted representation. The use of prohibited or restricted representations in advertisements for therapeutic goods is unlawful without the permission of the TGA.
The TGA takes action against advertising breaches
The regulatory scheme is important to the safety of Australian consumers and the TGA investigates suspected illegal activity in relation to therapeutic goods. A range of compliance and enforcement tools are available and where necessary, this may include criminal or civil court proceedings, which can result in substantial penalties, fines or imprisonment.
The TGA is also reminding consumers to be on the lookout for misleading ads in its how to spot a dodgy health product ad campaign.