Federal government fights ‘Barbie drug’ seller

A supplements seller allegedly spruiking peptides as a treatment for anxiety, anti-ageing, tanning and depression is facing federal legal action for misleading advertising.

The Department of Health has filed federal court proceedings against Peptide Clinics Australia after it allegedly advertised peptides in a way that "encouraged inappropriate use of the medicines" and contained "scientific information that was inaccurate, imbalanced and misleading".

 

The Department of Health has filed federal court proceedings against Peptide Clinics Australia
The Department of Health has filed federal court proceedings against Peptide Clinics Australia

Peptides Clinics Australia is based in Martin Place, Sydney, but operates as an online store.

Peptides are performance-enhancing supplements which are made of small proteins.

They rose to prominence in the doping scandals that tainted the NRL's Cronulla Sharks and AFL's Essendon Bombers.

In court documents, Health alleged that Peptide Clinics Australia had advertised its products for uses that "would be inappropriate".

This included anxiety/mood regulation, fat/weight loss, premature ejaculation and hair loss.

"The advertisements presented scientific information in an inaccurate, imbalanced and misleading manner," the documents state.

"The use of the peptides and other prescription only therapeutic goods sold by Peptide Clinics Australia could result in serious harm to consumers' health and safety, particularly as it is alleged that the products are not used with adequate or appropriate medical supervision."

Health also claimed that the company had advertised a tan injection drug - Melatonin II- in a way that implied that it was "safe" and "cannot cause harm".

Known as the "Barbie drug", Melatonin II is a peptide that has been found to accelerate cancer and have damaging side effects, including nausea, vomiting, bloating, flatulence and back, liver and kidney pain.

A spokesman for Peptide Clinics Australia told The Saturday Telegraph the company had "absolutely no comment".