In a welcome legal victory, the company trading as the Australian Male Hormone Clinic has been fined a total of $127,500, plus $6000 in costs, for the unlawful advertising of regulated health services.
The company was found guilty on 17 charges brought by AHPRA relating to advertisements for treating testosterone deficiency which were published in newspapers nationwide between February and August last year.
The advertising made a number of claims about the benefits of the treatment, including increased energy, focus, masculinity and strength, and ability to satisfy sexual partners. AHPRA challenged the validity of the claims citing best available evidence.
AHPRA Chief Executive Martin Fletcher welcomed the court’s decision, saying advertising could heavily influence a patient’s decision-making around their healthcare needs and information in advertising must be accurate and based on acceptable evidence.
“AHPRA and the National Boards will continue to take action against unlawful advertising in the best interests of all consumers of regulated health services,” he said.
The Australian Male Hormone Clinic was owned by Wellness Enterprises which was placed into voluntary liquidation in September last year.
The case represents the first time a corporation, rather than an individual practitioner, has been convicted on charges brought by AHPRA under section 133 of the National Law.
That law states a person must not advertise a regulated health service or a business that provides a regulated health service, in a way that is false, misleading or deceptive and/or create an unreasonable expectation of beneficial treatment.