A recent case in which a chiropractor was convicted of false advertising for claiming to be able to prevent, treat and cure cancer serves as a reminder for practitioners to make sure they properly understand their obligations and follow the National Boards’ guidelines for advertising.

Section 133 of the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (National Law) bans advertising that creates an unreasonable expectation of beneficial treatment.

Key points to know

  • The burden is on you to substantiate any claims that you make that your treatments benefit patients.
  • If you do not understand your advertising obligations, refer to the guidelines published by the National Boards on AHPRA’s website, or seek legal advice.
  • AHPRA is responsible for prosecuting breaches of the advertising requirements in the National Law. AHPRA with the Boards will decide whether there has been a breach of your advertising obligations. This involves using objective criteria to assess whether there is acceptable evidence to substantiate therapeutic claims in advertising.
  • If you are unsure whether a claim that you have made can be substantiated based on acceptable evidence, then remove it from your advertising.

Information about the advertising regulation under the National Law can be found here.