MONDAY, 30 JUNE 2008
The Polish newspaper Rzeczpospolita reports a recent judgment of the Supreme Administrative Court (SAC) regarding the commercial promotion and advertising of medicinal products.
Apteka przy Ratuszu – Centrum Farmaceutyczne (the pharmacy) in Bialystok had published a brochure titled "Megaextracharges" (Megadoplaty) in which it has provided information about promotional prices of medicinal products that were available in "Apteka przy Ratuszu". The Main Pharmaceutical Inspector (MPI) - -the central organ of the Polish administration which has the authorithy to supervise compliance with the regulations of Pharmaceutical Law in the scope of advertisements -- has ruled that such advertising is prohibited by the Polish Pharmaceutical Law and has ordered the owners of the pharmacy to cease distribiution of brochures and leaflets.
Article 52 the Polish Pharmaceutical Law (the PPL) - the Act of 6 September 2001 Pharmaceutical Law (Dziennik Ustaw of 2004 No. 53, pos 533 with later changes) provides that:
Advertising a medicinal product shall mean any activity consisting in informing about and encouraging to use the medicinal product and Article 53(1-2) allows for limited advertising:
The owners filled a complaint before the District Administrative Court in Warsaw. The Court overruled the MPI's decision and held that the disputed brochures provided information only about the possibility to buy cheap medicines which, in consequence, did not fulfil the definition of "advertising of a medicinal product" as provided in Article 52 of the PPL. The Court did not find any circumstances of "encouragement to buy" in those promotional materials.
1. Advertising of a medicinal product must not be misleading, it shall show the medicinal product objectively and it shall inform about its rational application.
2. Advertising of a medicinal product can not consist of offering or promising of any benefits, in direct or indirect way, in exchange for product's purchase or delivery of proofs that the product was purchased.
The MPI filled a cassation complaint before the Supreme Administrative Court. The SAC agreed with the Main Pharmaceutical Inspector and held that the lower court should assess not only the visual incentive to buy, but also the "actual intention", while testing the differences between information and advertising.
The SAC clearly noted that:
... prices promotions encouraging to medicinal products purchases in a specific pharmacy are the advertising of a medicinal product and a company which applies it.
Judgment of the Supreme Administrative Court, act signature II GSK 199/08 of 26 June 2008.
Posted by: Tomasz Rychlicki @ 13.57
Tags: Advertising, medicines, Poland,