Last Updated February 20, 2019

Law and Practice

Contributed By Walder Wyss Ltd

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Walder Wyss Ltd has 200 legal experts and office locations in Zurich, Geneva, Basel, Berne, Lausanne and Lugano. Walder Wyss Ltd has a team dedicated to life science and pharmaceutical regulatory law, including healthcare insurance law. The key areas of practice in relation to the pharmaceutical advertising sector are pharmaceutical regulatory law, healthcare insurance law and the law regarding research on humans and clinical trials, stem cells and blood components, genetic testing, transplantation, special nutrition, medical devices and reproductive medicine. The firm has established www.lifesciencelaw.ch, a website dedicated to all legal issues surrounding life sciences where case law is discussed and where interested people can find publications from the team.

The bribery offences in criminal law can be found in Article 322ter et seqq. of the Swiss Criminal Code (StGB). Article 322octies StGB (bribery of private individuals) and art. 322novies StGB (accepting bribes) regulate private corruption and include the criminal liability of both the bribing and the bribed person. The bribed person must be “an employee, partner, agent or any other auxiliary of a third party in the private sector” (Article 322octies StGB and Article 322novies StGB). A doctor with a public function (eg in a public hospital) may also fall under the active and passive bribery provisions for Swiss public officials (Article 322ter and Article 322quater StGB). With regard to Swiss public officials, the acceptance and granting of advantages (so-called climate care/feeding) is also punishable (Article 322quinquies and Article 322sexies StGB).

It is prohibited to grant, offer or promise material benefits to persons who prescribe or dispense medicines or to the organisations that employ them and for such persons or organisations to solicit or accept such material benefits. However, material benefits of modest value that are related to medical or pharmaceutical practice as well as commercially and economically justified discounts that directly reflect on the price are permitted (Article 33 HMG). Material benefits of modest value must not exceed CHF300 per healthcare professional or healthcare organisation and per year.

Persons who exercise a university medical profession in the private sector and under their own professional responsibility are obliged to exclusively protect the interests of patients and to act independently of financial advantages when collaborating with members of other healthcare professions (Article 40 lit. e MedBG).

Healthcare professionals must, in any case, pass on direct or indirect financial advantages granted to them by pharmaceutical companies to patients or healthcare insurances with regard to medicines covered by compulsory healthcare insurance (Article 56 paragraph 3 lit. b KVG).

The Pharma Cooperation Code states that benefits must not constitute an inducement to recommend, prescribe, acquire, supply, sell or administer specific medicines. Pharmaceutical companies may not offer, promise or grant any inappropriate benefits to healthcare professionals, healthcare organisations or patient organisations including, in particular, any gifts (either in cash or non-cash considerations). However, pharmaceutical companies may offer objects, information and training materials of moderate value to healthcare professionals  if they are intended solely for the medical or pharmaceutical activity or are used for post-graduate or continuing education in medicine or pharmacy and if they are, in both cases, also beneficial to patients. The same holds true for writing implements and note pads of modest value that are made available to participants at events by pharmaceutical companies; these writing implements and note pads may, however, not bear any references to the pharmaceutical company or to particular medicines (rule 14 Pharma Cooperation Code).

Walder Wyss Ltd

Walder Wyss Ltd.
Seefeldstrasse 123
P.O. Box
8034 Zurich
Switzerland

+41 58 658 58 58

+41 58 658 59 59

reception@walderwyss.com www.walderwyss.com/en/home
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Authors



Walder Wyss Ltd has 200 legal experts and office locations in Zurich, Geneva, Basel, Berne, Lausanne and Lugano. Walder Wyss Ltd has a team dedicated to life science and pharmaceutical regulatory law, including healthcare insurance law. The key areas of practice in relation to the pharmaceutical advertising sector are pharmaceutical regulatory law, healthcare insurance law and the law regarding research on humans and clinical trials, stem cells and blood components, genetic testing, transplantation, special nutrition, medical devices and reproductive medicine. The firm has established www.lifesciencelaw.ch, a website dedicated to all legal issues surrounding life sciences where case law is discussed and where interested people can find publications from the team.

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