Today CAP and BCAP have launched two consultations on the medicines sections of their respective Codes.
The consultations respond to changes in the regulatory framework governing medicines and two other, separate policy issues that have arisen since the last comprehensive review of the Codes in 2009. CAP and BCAP consider that this is an appropriate time to address these issues to ensure the Codes are kept up-to-date.
CAP and BCAP aim to ensure that the Codes provide appropriate levels of protection for consumers, especially in an area like medicines and health, where a serious potential for harm exists through misleading or irresponsible advertising.
Advertising of products, such as medicines, is subject to various pieces of legislation. CAP and BCAP are keen to ensure that the Codes reflect the advertising-related parts of the law to ensure that the Codes provide an effective one stop shop for complaints about advertising.
The consultation covers a series of proposed technical amendments to the Code. Primarily, the consultation relates to the need for several amendments in response to the enactment of the Human Medicines Regulations 2012 (HMRs), which consolidate the various pieces of UK medicines legislation into one.
Along with similar technical amendments to those in the CAP consultation, BCAP is looking at two separate policy issues:
- Services offering to prescribe or treat remotely – recent developments in services like online pharmacies call into question the BCAP Code’s prohibition on all services offering remote prescription or treatment from advertising on TV and Radio. BCAP are considering changes to the Code to allow appropriately regulated services to advertise.
- Smoking cessation therapies and harm reduction – changes to the license requirements for products, such as nicotine replacement therapy, have made it possible for them to make harm reduction claims. At present, general rules may inhibit marketers from doing this. BCAP is considering how the Code might be amended to ensure that marketers can make claims permitted by a product’s licence.
Responding to the consultations
CAP and BCAP welcome responses from a broad range of interested parties and members of the public. Owing to the technical nature of the consultations, CAP and BCAP will also write to a list of parties involved in the various sectors covered by the medicines sections, along with regulatory bodies, consumer groups and other interested parties.
The consultations will run until 5pm Friday 25 October 2013.