Last Updated February 20, 2019

Law and Practice

Contributed By Jones Day

Authors



Jones Day assists with all facets of clients' marketing, promotion, and advertising efforts by devising marketing strategies, developing packaging and labelling, obtaining internal and governmental approvals and implementing compliant advertising campaigns, including print, radio and television advertising, website development and social media platforms. The firm's Life Sciences team helps clients to preserve their advertising position and challenge infringing competitors. Its lawyers provide assistance with pharmaceutical, medical device and biological regulations, including counselling and representation on diverse issues such as product development, product clearance and approval, clinical trials, biosafety, licensing agreements, facility and establishment registration, product listing, government inspections, product and ingredient notifications, recalls, corrective actions, regulatory and due diligence projects, and audits and compliance with good manufacturing practices and the quality systems regulation. The team has successfully defended clients against FDA enforcement actions including warning letters, seizures, product recalls, inspections, civil monetary penalties, adverse agency determinations, consent decrees and corporate integrity agreements. The views and opinions set forth herein are the personal views or opinions of the author; they do not necessarily reflect views or opinions of the law firm with which [he or she] is associated.

The UPMRA and the Fair Competition Code concerning Restriction on Premium Offers in the Ethical Pharmaceutical Drugs Marketing Industry (the Fair Competition Code) regulate offering benefits or other inducements to prescribe to healthcare professionals or organisations. The JPMA Promotion Code contains similar rules. These regulations apply to benefits provided both to individuals and organisations.

UPMRA

Article 4 of the UPMRA allows the Prime Minister to restrict the offering of premiums in various ways, including through a prohibition. Under Article 6 (2) of the UPMRA, the Cabinet issued a public notice: 'Restrictions on the Offering of Premiums in the Ethical Pharmaceutical Drugs, Medical Devices and Sanitation Inspection Industries'. The notice prohibits pharmaceutical companies from offering articles, services or other premiums to healthcare institutions as a means of inducing unjust transactions beyond what is commercially reasonable for the usage or sanitary inspection of ethical pharmaceutical drugs.

Fair Competition Code

'Fair competition codes' are self-regulatory codes set up by the business associations of specific industries based on the UPMRA restrictions on the provision of premiums. Generally, fair competition codes will include UPMRA rules as well as supplemental rules not provided under the UPMRA depending on the nature of the products and transactions in the relevant industry. The pharmaceutical industry established the Fair Competition Code, which pharmaceutical companies are currently complying with.

The Fair Competition Code provides that pharmaceutical companies shall not offer premiums to healthcare professionals or institutions as a means of unjustifiably inducing drug transactions. If, however, based on standard commercial practices the offers of economic benefits are considered to be discounts, after-sale services or benefits in connection with the drugs, they are no longer categorised as offers of premiums. In addition, even if money, goods or economic benefits are considered premiums, there are some cases in which offering premiums is permitted (several examples are listed). In addition, if premiums are 'small sum offerings', offering them will not violate the Fair Competition Code.

The JPMA Promotion Code

The JPMA Promotion Code has several provisions regarding offering benefits to healthcare professionals or institutions. It regulates, among other issues:

  • the total amount of sample drugs that can be supplied;
  • food, drinks, and gifts that can accompany lectures;
  • gift-giving; and
  • provisions of cash or its equivalent that may negatively affect the proper use of drugs.
Jones Day

Kamiyacho Prime Place
1-17, Toranomon 4-chome
Minato-ku
Tokyo 105-0001
Japan

+81 334333939

+81 354012725

www.jonesday.com/tokyo/

Authors



Jones Day assists with all facets of clients' marketing, promotion, and advertising efforts by devising marketing strategies, developing packaging and labelling, obtaining internal and governmental approvals and implementing compliant advertising campaigns, including print, radio and television advertising, website development and social media platforms. The firm's Life Sciences team helps clients to preserve their advertising position and challenge infringing competitors. Its lawyers provide assistance with pharmaceutical, medical device and biological regulations, including counselling and representation on diverse issues such as product development, product clearance and approval, clinical trials, biosafety, licensing agreements, facility and establishment registration, product listing, government inspections, product and ingredient notifications, recalls, corrective actions, regulatory and due diligence projects, and audits and compliance with good manufacturing practices and the quality systems regulation. The team has successfully defended clients against FDA enforcement actions including warning letters, seizures, product recalls, inspections, civil monetary penalties, adverse agency determinations, consent decrees and corporate integrity agreements. The views and opinions set forth herein are the personal views or opinions of the author; they do not necessarily reflect views or opinions of the law firm with which [he or she] is associated.

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