Contributed By Walder Wyss Ltd
Press releases regarding individual medicines are allowed in principle. However, if a press release falls within the definition of advertising, ie if the information provided aims at promoting the prescription, supply, sale, consumption or use of a medicine, the restrictions with regard to advertising must be adhered to. In particular, press releases accessible to the public may not contain any references to prescription medicines. Therefore, press releases referring directly or indirectly to prescription medicines must be accessible to media professionals exclusively and be protected by way of password access restriction (as is the case for advertising to healthcare professionals; art. 5a AWV).
If articles and contributions from other media about a company or its medicines are offered on the website of that company (press reviews), the content of these articles and contributions are attributed to that company in terms of advertising law. Therefore, the provisions of the AWV are fully applicable to such press reviews (Swissmedic Journal 8/2006, p. 796 et seqq.).
Furthermore, advertising must be recognisable as such. Therefore, advertising and editorial contributions must be clearly separated (Article 5 para. 4 AWV).