On 30 June 2016, the TAR Lazio, a lower Italian administrative court, found that all non-prescription medicines may be advertised to the public.  This ruling is of particular importance as until now the Italian Ministry of Health has interpreted the Italian medicines legislation as allowing the advertising to the public only of Over-the-Counter (OTC) products.

The judgment was triggered by a legal challenge brought by Kwidza Pharma GmbH and Chefaro Pharma Italia srl against a decision of the Italian Ministry of Health that denied the authorization to advertise to the public the non-prescription product “Bronchodual Sedativo e Fluidificante.”

As noted by the TAR Lazio itself, the court’s interpretation of the Italian rules is in line with the advertising rules of Directive 2001/83, which do not make any distinction between OTCs and other non-prescription products.