Why are there limitations on the volume of advertising (Clauses 6, 9.7, 11.1 and 11.2) and number of visits by representatives (Clause 15.4)?

  • 6

    Clause 6 - Journal Advertising

    See Clause 4 and in particular Clause 4.7 regarding the requirements for prescribing information in journal advertisements.

    6.1 No issue of a print journal may bear advertising for a particular product on more than two pages. 

    6.2 Where the pages of a two page print advertisement are not facing or where a digital advertisement is made up of a number of screens, no page or screen must be false or misleading when read in isolation.

    6.3 No advertisement taking the form of a loose insert in a print journal
    may consist of more than a single sheet of a size no larger than the page
    size of the journal itself, printed on one or both sides.


  • 9.7

    9.7 Extremes of format, size or cost of material must be avoided.

    Informational or educational materials must be inexpensive, directly relevant to the practice of medicine or pharmacy and directly beneficial to the care of patients.

  • 11.1

    11.1 Material should only be sent or distributed to those categories of persons whose need for, or interest in, the particular information can reasonably be assumed.

  • 11.2

    11.2 Restraint must be exercised on the frequency of distribution and on the volume of promotional material distributed.

  • 15.4

    15.4 Representatives must ensure that the frequency, timing and duration of calls on health professionals and other relevant decision makers in hospitals and NHS and other organisations, together with the manner in which they are made, do not cause inconvenience. The wishes of individuals on whom representatives wish to call and the arrangements in force at any particular establishment, must be observed.

Some of the limitations are requirements from the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Association’s Code, others are to make it clear that the industry is sensitive to criticisms about the volume and cost of its promotional activities. Limitations are helpful in demonstrating that the industry understands the pressures on health professionals, in particular prescribing health professionals as well as other relevant decision makers. The requirements in the Code help balance these with the legitimate right of the pharmaceutical industry to promote.

See Clauses 15.4, 6, 9.7, 11.1 and 11.2