Cohen & Stein risk $6600 fine

Cohen & Stein risk $6600 fine

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Sam Cohen and any publisher who prints IHRB’s advertisements, are risking prosecution under Section 42C of the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989. It is alleged that both Mr Cohen (of IHRB) and Mr Peter Stein (the publisher of Eastern Suburbs Spectator newspaper) published many advertisements that make therapeutic claims, without those advertisements being Approved, as required by the Therapeutic Goods Regulations.

Evidence shows that a range of advertisements were published in Mr Peter Stein’s newspaper, despite my having brought this matter to Mr Stein’s attention, both verbally and in writing, over many months, and via several conversations. I had highlighted to him that Sam Cohen’s advertisements not only do not have Approval, they are Sanctioned by the Complaints Resolution Panel, because those ads were found to be unlawful, misleading, and unverified.

In NSW, the Therapeutic Goods Act states that it is an offence to publish ads that are not approved. The 60 penalty units amount to $6,600.

Steps are being taken to bring these alleged breaches to the attention of the Authorities. The ads should not be published and should never have been published, because they do not comply with the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code. Mr Peter Stein could say that he was just publishing ads in the normal course of his business. Alas, it’s not that simple, because I have evidence to show that I had highlighted the Sanctions to him on several occasions. His latest argument was that Mr Cohen had assured him that the ads have been approved. I suspect that’s a useless defence because Approved ads must show an Approval Number. Failure to display an Approval Number attracts a penalty of 30 units, which comes to $3,300.

P.S. I am not a lawyer, so I would need to check if an adverse finding for any breach of Section 42C is calculated per offence, which means for each ad that was in breach. If that is the case, then I know that dozens of ads have been run by IHRB and various publishers, so if each comes to $6,600, the fine could exceed hundreds of thousands of dollars. That would be interesting to explore.

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