Chemmart agrees to improve its promotion of “myDNA” tests

12 September 2016

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has accepted an administrative undertaking on behalf of Chemmart in relation to representations regarding the effectiveness of a myDNA genetic test in identifying an individual’s response to certain drugs.

The ACCC 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,” ACCC Commissioner Sarah Court said.

“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.”

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.

Background

The administrative undertaking is provided by EBOS Group Ltd, on behalf of its subsidiary Symbion Pty Ltd, the owner of the Chemmart pharmacy franchise.

The myDNA genetic test is supplied by myDNA Life Australia Pty Ltd (MDLA). The test is sold for $149 and is not covered by Medicare or private health insurance rebates. The myDNA test has been available to purchase through Chemmart pharmacies since November 2015.  MDLA also cooperated with the ACCC’s investigation.

 

Release number: 
MR 166/16
ACCC Infocentre: 

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