The ACCC has accepted an administrative undertaking by Chemmart, after the pharmacy chain withdrew promotions pushing the effectiveness of a myDNA genetic test in identifying an individual’s response to certain drugs.
The competition watchdog was concerned that statements in Chemmart’s catalogues, television infomercials, in-store brochures and other promotional materials about the myDNA test risked conveying a false or misleading impression regarding the usefulness of the genetic test, and the consumers for whom it may be appropriate.
A person’s genetic profile is just one of a wide range of factors that may be considered by a medical practitioner in determining the type and dose of drug that is suitable for an individual.
“Consumers place a high level of trust in pharmacists and the information they provide. They’re entitled to expect that products and services in pharmacies are promoted in a way that is clear and accurate, and explains both the benefits and limitations of those products or services,” said Sarah Court ACCC Commissioner.
“This is a reminder to pharmacies to avoid making statements about products in advertising and promotional materials that are overly broad or which do not contain sufficient qualification, and consequently have the potential to mislead consumers.”
The administrative undertaking is provided by EBOS Group Ltd, on behalf of its subsidiary Symbion Pty Ltd, the owner of the Chemmart pharmacy franchise.
Chemmart withdrew all of the promotional materials containing the statements of concern to the ACCC following contact by the ACCC. Chemmart also agreed to refrain from making any statements in the future about the myDNA test that have the potential to mislead consumers about the applicability and effectiveness of the test.
The myDNA test has been available to purchase through Chemmart pharmacies since November 2015. The test is sold for $149 and is not covered by Medicare or private health insurance rebates.