Is NMN legal in Australia?

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In Australia, NMN (nicotinamide mononucleotide) is illegal to sell within the country.
Australia Criminal Law
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Other than NMN's supplement side effects and benefits, this article outlines the legalities around NMN in Australia. It is important to note that there currently is limited research on NMN.

What is NMN?

NMN stands for Nicotinamide mononucleotide (commonly referred to as 'NMN') and is a naturally occurring molecule found in human cells. It is a precursor of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) which is essential to energy production, DNA repair, immune functions, and stress resistance. The NAD+ mitigate over time with age.

For more on the law on drugs, get in touch with our  criminal lawyers Sydney office.

NMN Supplement Side Effects and Benefits | NMN Powder in Australia

Notwithstanding the limited research on the substance, NMN is generally considered safe according to studies. When taken in appropriate doses, it doesn't seem to have side effects. What current research on NMN so far reveals however is that some NMN products may contain other harmful ingredients which may cause side effects to some. It is recommended to cease taking it if you experience any side effects and immediately consult your doctor.

When taken as a supplement, it is thought to enhance NAD+ levels in one's body, thus potentially offering these health benefits (i.e., increased energy production, improve metabolic function and better cognitive health). Studies on this area are limited, and more studies are required to get a better understanding of it.

Research is ongoing as to its effects, and there is minimal clinical evidence on the potential benefits of NMN for humans. Some research suggests that NMN supplements may assist in increasing NAD+ populations.

If you have a deficiency in NAD+, this could lead to potential health issues such as age-related metabolic disorders and neurodegenerative diseases such as depression, anxiety, Alzheimer's disease, and Parkinson's disease. Naturally, NMN can appear in broccoli, avocados, cucumbers, and edamame.

The supplements typically come in capsule or tablet form. Such healthcare products have become popular in North America, Europe, and  China.

Is 'NMN' Legal in Australia?

In Australia, nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) is illegal to sell within the country. This means that even where NMN supplements are manufactured in Australia, once they are made, producers are required to export them outside the country for sale.

This is because all NMN supplements included on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods are approved as 'export only' medicines.

If you are within Australia, you can legally obtain NMN, however, you are required to import NMN from overseas, for personal use under the 'Personal Importation Scheme'.

Personal importation refers to where an individual within Australia arranges for a therapeutic good to be sent to them from an overseas supplier, with the good to be used by that individual or an immediate family member. It is not permissible for the good to be sold or supplied to any other person.

Under the scheme, you can import a 3-month supply per order (at the maximum dose recommended by the manufacturer). Furthermore, the total quantity of the goods imported within a 12-month period cannot exceed 15-month's supply of the goods.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration warns that consumers should only order supplements over the internet where they know exactly what is in the preparation, as safety and quality cannot be guaranteed.

It is important to note that any imports which are more than this prescribed amount, or which are imported for sale within Australia, may be assessed by the Therapeutic Goods Administration to be unlawful under the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 (Cth).

Click here for more on  Xanax and Valium laws in Australia.

Penalties Concerning NMN In Australia

It is illegal to import NMN without authorisation. Illegally importing NMN may result in it being seized as a prohibited import under the Customs Act 1901 (Cth). There is a maximum penalty of $31,300 (100 penalty units x current value of $313) for contravening any conditions on a permission to import certain goods, as per section 50 of the Act.

However, the Therapeutic Goods Administration may instead choose to issue an infringement notice with a financial penalty (i.e., a fine), instead of charging someone.

Furthermore, as NMN is not included on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods for sale within the country, it is not lawful for an Australian company to advertise it.

Therapeutic goods that are not entered in the Register are prohibited from being advertised to Australian consumers unless a relevant exemption or exclusion applies. Breach of this attracts a maximum penalty of $1,565,000 fine for individuals (5,000 penalty units x current value of $313) and a maximum fine of $15,650,000 (50,000 penalty units x current value of $313) for a corporation, as per section 42DLB of the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 (Cth).

Again, the Therapeutic Goods Administration may instead issue an infringement notice to a business or individual as an alternative to undertaking formal court action.

In June 2022, the Therapeutic Goods Administration fined a person from New South Wales $2,664 for advertising a supplement containing nicotinamide mononucleotide on their company website, promoting it as an anti-ageing medicine.

The Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 (Cth) and Customs Act 1901 (Cth) are Commonwealth Acts which means they are applicable across the country, in each state and territory.

Other options available to the Therapeutic Goods Administration include warning letters which will include what non-compliance has been identified, what corrective action must be undertaken, and what further action could be taken if the non-compliance is not remedied within the timeframe.

It can also negotiate enforceable undertakings, in the case of corporations, instead of pursuing court action. This enables the corporation to enter into a written agreement with the Therapeutic Goods Administration, subject to approval by the Secretary of the Department of Health.

Click here for more on the  law and penalties on prohibited drugs.

Where to Buy NMN in Australia?

Currently, NMN can be purchased online from various companies including Nutrition Warehouse, My Health Pantry, and Naturesbody. It is usually sold in either NMN powder or NMN capsule form. The prices range based on quantity purchased and may range from $40 to $200. For example, it can cost up to $200 for about 100 grams of NMN in powder form. Other brands can sell 240 tablets of NMN for $159.95.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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