Originally published as Covington E-Alert on May 9, 2011

The EU Court of Justice just issued two long awaited rulings on the interpretation of the rules governing advertising of medicines in Europe. They address (i) the requirement that all advertising must comply with the prescribing information (SmPC) for the product and (ii) the distinction between advertising and information with regard to posting approved product labelling on a company website.

The rulings provide general principles that will assist in the interpretation of the relevant legal provisions. However, the Court’s rulings clearly reflect the background of the actual disputes in question and it will be difficult to distill concrete guidance for other fact patterns, especially as the two legal provisions in question must be applied on a case by case basis.

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