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Thursday, 12 August 2004
Page: 26396

Senator NETTLE (7:56 PM) —Before the suspension of the sitting for dinner I asked the minister a question about the legal status of advertising directly to consumers via the Internet. I have just gone on to the Therapeutic Goods Administration web site, and it indicates that advertising directly to consumers is not permitted, and that is also stated in a media release by the National Prescribing Service. I flag that as something that the minister could check and get back to us with an answer, or a clarification if needed.

Senator Hill —That's what I said.

Senator NETTLE —I remember the minister said that currently you can advertise directly to consumers via the Internet.

Senator Hill —Via the Internet you can, but not otherwise.

Senator NETTLE —The Therapeutic Goods Administration web site says:

Advertising direct to consumers is not permitted (prohibited by the Act).

The caveat that the minister provided in his answer before was `except via the Internet', so I seek clarification. Also, a media release from the National Prescribing Service mentions an article in the journal Australian Prescriber which says:

... advertising of prescription drugs to the general public is illegal ...

So I seek clarification on that.