Contributed By Jones Day
Comparative advertising for medicines is not prohibited but it is restricted by Japanese law and self-regulatory codes. The major restrictions are as follows:
According to the Commentary of Article 9 of the Standards, a pharmaceutical company’s comparative advertising must only feature its own products and the advertising must specify the name of those products. Comparisons with competitors’ products are prohibited. In addition, when a pharmaceutical company compares two of its own products, the company must ensure that it provides a sufficient explanation of the products.
Further, the JPMA Promotion Code stipulates that comparative advertising “shall be based on scientific data and, in principle, shall be made using generic names.”
Finally, the Consumer Affairs Agency has issued general guidelines for comparative advertising. These guidelines provide that a comparative advertisement shall be considered a Misleading Representation prohibited under the UPMRA if:
Kamiyacho Prime Place
1-17, Toranomon 4-chome