TGA warns salons not to advertise Botox

The Therapeutic Goods Association has warned Australian “cosmetic/beauty clinics” that it is illegal to advertise services that use Schedule 4 (prescription-only) substances such as Botox, Restylane, Juvederm and Dysport.

According to the Therapeutic Goods Act, it is an offence “for a person to publish or broadcast an advertisement about therapeutic goods that contains a statement referring to goods, or substances or preparations containing goods, included in Schedules 3, 4 or 8 of the Poisons Standard. Standard for the Uniform Scheduling of Medicines and Poisons”.

The offence attracts a maximum penalty of $10,800 for an individual and $54,000 for a body corporate.

The TGA issued the warning as “some health professionals and cosmetic/beauty clinics are advertising, to the general public, therapeutic goods or substances that are designated ‘prescription-only’” including cosmetic injections such as:

  • Restylane, Perlane, Dermalive, Juvéderm (hyaluronic acid)
  • Hylaform (hyaluronan, sodium hyaluronate)
  • Collagen, Zyderm, Zyplast, Cosmoplast, Cosmoderm (collagen)
  • Botox, Dysport (botulinum toxin)
  • Newfill, Nufill, Sculptra (polylactic acid)
  • Aquamid (polyacrylamide)
  • Radiesse (calcium hydroxyapatite)
  • Ellansé (polycaprolactone)
  • Belkyra, Kybella, ATX-101, Lipodissolve (deoxycholic acid)

The TGA states that advertising restrictions for therapeutic goods are in place to protect the health and safety of consumers.

“Prescription medicines are considered high risk products, and prior assessment of the patient by a medical professional is required before use.

“Advertising that encourages consumers to seek out such products is disruptive to the prescriber‑patient relationship and potentially dangerous.”

The TGA recommends that clinics wanting to promote such products/services should use the following acceptable general terms and phrases” in their advertising:

  • cosmetic injections
  • anti-wrinkle injections/treatments
  • wrinkle injections/treatments
  • injections/treatments for lips
  • injections/treatments for fine lines/folds/age lines
  • wrinkle and lip enhancement/fulfilment/augmentation
  • injections to enhance pouting of the lips
  • injections which reduce the depth of fine lines/wrinkles around the face/lips
  • injections to improve the appearance of chin/neck/jawline

“Other words and phrases with similar meaning may also be used, provided that they do not refer to specific products or ingredient names,” the TGA said.

“It is however not acceptable to use acronyms, nicknames or abbreviations of the medicine’s name, which may be taken by a consumer to be a ‘reference’ to a specific medicine or substance.”

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