Advertising a medicinal product. What is allowed by Ukrainian legislation and what is prohibited?

Violators of advertising legislation bear disciplinary, civil, administrative, and criminal liability.
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The Main Department of the State Service of Ukraine for Food Safety and Consumer Protection in Khmelnytsky Oblast explains on its official website that, according to Article 21 of the Law of Ukraine “On Advertising,” advertising is allowed:

  • only such medicinal products, medical devices and methods of prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation that are duly authorized by the central executive body implementing the state policy in the field of healthcare for use in Ukraine;
  • only such medicinal products that are sold without a doctor’s prescription and are not included by the central executive body in the field of healthcare in the list of medicinal products prohibited for advertising.

Instead, advertising is prohibited:

  1. medicinal products whose use and sale is permitted only upon a doctor’s prescription, as well as those included in the list of medicinal products prohibited from advertising;
  2. doping substances and/or methods for their use in sports.

Also, please note that advertising of medicines must contain the following information:

  • the requirement to consult a doctor before using a medicinal product;
  • a recommendation to familiarize yourself with the instructions for the medicinal product;
  • the following warning text: “Self-medication can be harmful to your health”, which occupies at least 15% of the area (duration) of the entire advertisement.

Advertising of medicines is prohibited:

  1. information that may give the impression that consultation with a specialist is not necessary when using the medicinal product;
  2. information that the therapeutic effect of the medicinal product is guaranteed;
  3. images of changes in the human body or its parts due to illness or injury;
  4. statements that contribute to the emergence or development of fear of getting sick or worsening one’s health due to non-use of medicines;
  5. statements that promote the possibility of self-diagnosis of diseases and their self-treatment with the use of advertised medical products;
  6. references to specific cases of successful use of medicines and medical devices;
  7. recommendations or references to recommendations of medical professionals, scientists, medical institutions and organizations regarding the advertised product or service;
  8. special expressions of gratitude, appreciation, letters, excerpts from them with recommendations, stories about the use and results of the advertised product or service from individuals;
  9. images and mentions of the names of popular people, characters from movies, TV and animated films, and reputable organizations;
  10. information that may mislead the consumer about the composition, origin, efficacy, patent protection of the advertised product.

Persons guilty of violating the advertising law shall bear disciplinary, civil, administrative and criminal liability in accordance with the law.

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