Health

Private and public hospitals to cooperate on COVID-19 in Victoria and Queensland

The ACCC has separately authorised private hospitals in Victoria and in Queensland to cooperate with their state health agencies, public hospitals and each other, as they prepare for and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

State governments are seeking to boost the capacity of their health systems during the current health crisis by integrating the operations of public and private hospitals.

Private health insurance report 2018-19

This report analyses key competition and consumer developments and trends in the private health insurance industry between 1 July 2018 and 30 June 2019, including ACCC enforcement and other actions relating to the health sector.

HealthEngine in court for allegedly misusing patient data and manipulating reviews

The ACCC has instituted proceedings in the Federal Court against online health booking platform HealthEngine Pty Ltd (HealthEngine) for misleading and deceptive conduct relating to the sharing of consumer information with insurance brokers and the publishing of patient reviews and ratings.

The ACCC claims that between 31 March 2015 to 1 March 2018, HealthEngine manipulated the patient reviews it published, and misrepresented to consumers why HealthEngine did not publish a rating for some health practices.

GSK and Novartis misled consumers with Voltaren Osteo Gel claims

The Federal Court has accepted admissions by GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Australia Pty Ltd (GSK) and Novartis Consumer Health Australasia Pty Ltd (Novartis) that they breached the Australian Consumer Law by making false or misleading representations in the marketing of Voltaren Osteo Gel and Voltaren Emulgel pain relief products.

GSK and Novartis admitted that from January 2012 to March 2017,  they marketed Osteo Gel as being specifically formulated and more effective than Emulgel in treating osteoarthritis related pain and inflammation.

Court rules fish oil capsules not ‘Made in Australia'

The Federal Court has ruled that the encapsulation in Australia of imported fish oil and Vitamin D by Nature's Care Manufacture Pty Ltd (Nature’s Care) would not permit the capsules to be labelled ‘Made in Australia’ under the Australian Consumer Law’s (ACL) Country of Origin labelling provisions.

“The ACCC is pleased that the approach of the Federal Court is consistent with the guidance the ACCC has given industry about country of origin labelling,” ACCC Deputy Chair Mick Keogh said.

ACCC to monitor the removal of GST on feminine hygiene products

The Federal Government has directed the ACCC to monitor and report on the prices, costs and profits relating to the supply of menstrual products in the feminine hygiene products industry.

The Government has previously agreed with the states and territories that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) will be removed from menstrual products from 1 January 2019.

Private health insurance report 2017-18

This report analyses key competition and consumer developments and trends in the private health insurance industry between 1 July 2017 and 30 June 2018.

ACCC seeks Special Leave to appeal Full Federal Court’s Pfizer judgment

The ACCC has sought Special Leave from the High Court to appeal the Full Federal Court‘s judgment of 25 May 2018 which upheld the dismissal of allegations against Pfizer Australia Pty Ltd (Pfizer) by the trial judge.

The ACCC alleges that Pfizer misused its substantial market power and engaged in exclusive dealing conduct for an anti-competitive purpose in breach of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (CCA).

ACCC calls for simpler, more transparent health insurance

Frustration with complex private health insurance policies and unexpected out-of-pocket costs is leading to increased complaints and even some people abandoning their hospital policies.

The ACCC has today released its annual report into the private health insurance industry, calling for the industry to make its products more consumer friendly by providing reliable and transparent information about product features and changes to private health insurance policies.