Contributed By Jones Day
Advertising Prescription-only Medicines
Advertising prescription-only medicines to the general public is prohibited in Japan. Article 5 (1) of the Standards expressly prohibits such advertising. In addition, Article 67 (1) of the PMD Act prohibits advertising drugs for specified diseases and regenerative medicines to the general public.
Advertising Over-the-counter Medicines
Advertising OTC medicines to the general public is not prohibited but is restricted by the PMD Act and the Standards, as well as by self-regulatory codes.
Advertising for OTC medicines is subject to the rules concerning advertising under the PMD Act and the Standards, which are described above in Section 1. In this regard, it should be noted that Article 6 of the Standards stipulates a particular restriction on advertisements to the general public concerning the efficacy of drugs for diseases, which cannot be expected to be cured without a doctor’s or dentist’s diagnosis or treatment. This Article provides that such advertisements must not suggest that the diseases can be cured without such a diagnosis or treatment when the advertisements are targeted at the general public.
In addition, the OTC Guidelines regulate advertising through newspapers, magazines, television, radio, websites and other forms of mainstream media to ensure the appropriateness of the publicity and advertising activities for non-prescription drugs.
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