Authorities investigate fake letter claiming health minister gave exemption for RATs

By Jackson Graham

January 31, 2022

Greg Hunt
Health minister Greg Hunt. AAP Image/Dean Lewins

A letter falsely claiming to be issued from health minister Greg Hunt allegedly allowed a NSW company to import unapproved rapid antigen tests into Australia, authorities say. 

The Therapeutic Goods Administration and the Australian Federal Police are investigating the letter, which appeared to provide an exemption from a product being on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods before importing it. 

“No special exemptions to import or supply unapproved rapid antigen tests have been granted by the TGA,” the medical regulator said in a statement. 

“To legally supply COVID-19 test kits in Australia, they must be approved for inclusion in the ARTG.” 

The TGA says the authenticity of any permissions or exemptions could be publicly verified on the agency’s website “should they be granted”. 

“They are published on web pages specific to the topic or type of therapeutic good the exemption or permission refers to.” 

The TGA on Friday also announced the Pfizer vaccine had been approved as a booster for 16 and 17-year-olds with the same dosage level as adults receive. 

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation will now provide further advice which the government expects to receive in the next week.


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