Letters to the Editor
Injunction impedes independent information
- Ken Harvey
- Aust Prescr 2007;30:120
- 1 April 2007
- DOI: 10.18773/austprescr.2007.016
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Editor, – The editorial about the injunction (Aust Prescr 2006;29:120)noted that the judge felt the public interest would be best served by the regulatory authorities examining the evidence supporting the efficacy of Ginkgo biloba.
In June 2006 a complaint about the promotion of Tebonin brand of Ginkgo biloba was sent to the:
The TGA response was classified 'commercial-in-confidence'. However, the TGA did note that the indications for Tebonin changed in July 2006 from 'For the symptomatic relief of tinnitus' to 'May assist in the management of tinnitus'.
In October 2006 the Complaints Resolution Committee suggested that issues relating to the product's efficacy should be referred to the TGA.
In November 2006 the Complaints Resolution Panel determined that promotional statements about Tebonin made in print media and the internet breached the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code. Schwabe Pharma Australia was requested to withdraw the advertisements from further publication and not use similar representations in the future.1
In December 2006 the Tebonin pack and insert continued to state that Tebonin was 'an effective treatment' for tinnitus. Print advertisements, although slightly changed, still claimed the product offered 'relief' from tinnitus without the TGA qualifier 'may'.2A number of Australian internet pharmacy sites also continued to promote Tebonin as an 'effective treatment' for tinnitus.
The Tebonin case suggests that confidence in Australian regulatory authorities may be misplaced.
Adjunct Senior Research Fellow
School of Public Health, La Trobe University
Adjunct Senior Research Fellow, School of Public Health, La Trobe University Bundoora, Vic.