Advertising law, new rules for pharmaceutical products

September 7th, 2008, Tomasz Rychlicki

In the article entitled “Przybędzie zakazów w reklamach leków“, the Polish newspaper Rzeczpospolita reports a recent legislative initiative regarding a draft regulation on advertising of medicinal products prepared by the Polish Ministry of Health. Monitors displaying ads may disappear from pharmacies. Advertising of any medicines will not be allowed in hospitals or pharmacies. The proposed draft especially concerns audio and audiovisual advertising. A similar ban exists in the current Regulation of the Minister of Health of 16 December 2002 on the advertising of medicinal products, Journal of Laws (Dziennik Ustaw) of 2002 No. 230, item 1936, however, it allows for advertising contained in radio and television programmes. There were assembled special monitors to broadcast TV spots in some pharmacies. Such exceptions will no longer be allowed , and the display of medicine advertising spots will become illegal.

The proposal also includes the types of advertising of medicinal products: i.e. advertising which is targeted to the general public or persons who are entitled to issue medical prescriptions or persons engaged in the marketing of medicinal products. The Ministry of Health has stresses that such specification will clearly defined market rules and will have a positive effects on fair competition.

Advertising in visual form must contain a warning.

Before use, read the label, which includes indications, contra-indications, data on side effects, dosage and information about the medicinal use of the product, or consult your doctor or pharmacist.

The warning has to be included in any part of advertising, on a flat surface which is not less than 10 percent of total surface area of the ad. The text must be distinguished from the background and it be legible. A warning in an audiovisual advertising has to be placed in the lower parts of the plane, which is not less than 20 percent of the total surface area. It must also be clearly legible in the Polish language and appear on the screen for not less than 5 seconds.