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After unapproved COVID-19 therapies were endorsed on their website, the national health watchdog is investigating a group of Melbourne physicians.

Hydroxychloroquine to be used for the treatment of the virus has been advocated by the Covid Medical Network (CMN), which rose to popularity last year when hundreds of doctors signed its open letter criticising Melbourne’s second lockdown.

Australian physicians have been barred from administering the medication to treat COVID-19 by the Medicinal Goods Administration (TGA), and the National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce has previously reported that hydroxychloroquine does not minimize mortality or enhance recovery times from COVID-19.

The regulator has stringent rules on false and misleading ads, with its website noting that violations of civil offenses will impose penalties of up to $1.1 million for citizens and $11.1 million for businesses.

“The TGA issued a warning letter requiring action on 12 February. Significant changes have been made to the website and Facebook account,” a TGA spokesman said.

“Facts”Facts”Early COVID Treatments”Early COVID Treatments,”a formal cease and desist letter from the TGA”a formal letter from the TGA to cease and desist.

“They have construed the information to be a form of advertising. We are currently consulting with our lawyers and the TGA regarding how best to provide the information in a manner that would not reasonably be construed as advertising the medications associated with the safe and effective treatment of early COVID illness,” the website states.

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