Under the general legislation, advertising is not considered to cover placement of information about the registered name of an entity, marks for goods and services owned by this entity, the type of its activity (if it does not follow from the registered name of the entity), as well as information about the manufacturer of the goods and/or goods in the places, where this product is sold or offered to the consumer, in particular on the elements of equipment and/or design of sales areas, as well as directly on a product itself and/or on its packaging.
Also, information about a product that is provided in compliance with the law (for example, the remote provision of information about the products to the buyer) and information directed at a particular person shall not be considered as advertising.
As regards the distinction between advertising and information on medicines, it should be noted that the concept of advertising of a medicine is provided in the Law on Advertising, and the definition of information about a medicine is provided in the Law on Medicines.
Comparison of advertising and information about a medicine:
Advertising of medicine v information about medicine
Scope of information
- Advertising of a medicine is any information about a person or a product intended to form or maintain the awareness of consumers of advertising and their interest with regard to such persons or products
- Information about a medicine includes only four categories of data: A name; characteristics; therapeutic properties; possible side effects
Registered v non-registered medicines
- Advertising of a medicine is allowed only with respect to the registered medicine. There is a direct prohibition on advertising of medicines, which are under consideration according to the established procedure, and that have not been approved for use yet
- “Information” is used for registered medicines, unregistered medicines, medicines that are at the stage development or entering production
Prescription-only medicines v over-the-counter medicines
- Advertising is allowed for prescription-only medicines not included in the list of medicines whose advertising is prohibited
- vision of information is also permitted for over-the-counter medicines and medicines whose advertising is prohibited
Scope of persons
- Advertising of a medicinal product is intended for an unlimited scope of persons; however, doctors and pharmacists are prohibited from advertising medicines, in particular from prescribing medicines on forms containing advertising information, and indicating manufacturers of medicines (trade marks)
- Information on medicines (including unregistered medicines or medicines that are at the stage of development or putting into production) is published in publications intended for medical and pharmaceutical workers as well as in materials , which are distributed in specialised seminars, conferences, symposia on medical topics
Target audience: healthcare professionals v healthcare institutions
- Limitations specified in Article 21 of the Law on Advertising (ie, all limitations regarding advertising of medicines referred to above and intended for an unlimited scope of persons), do not apply to the advertisements of medicinal products published in specialised publications intended for medical institutions and doctors, which are disseminated at seminars, conferences and symposia dedicated to medical issues
- Information on medicines (including products that are not registered (or which are at the stage of development or putting into production) includes the name, characteristics, therapeutic properties, possible side effects and is published in publications intended for healthcare and pharmaceutical professionals, as well as in the materials disseminated at specialised seminars, conferences and symposia dedicated to medical issues
Disease awareness campaigns may be recognised as advertising if information about a medicine is disseminated among the general public and in a manner aimed at formation and maintenance of consumer awareness and interest to such persons or products and will encourage purchasing and consuming the advertised goods (medicines). If such information is directed at a target audience (for example, healthcare professionals) in observance of other limitations towards advertising, such information may not fall under the definition of advertising and limitations applied thereto.