New decision on illegal advertisement of medicinal products on social media

The Danish Medicines Agency (DMA) has rendered a decision (5 March 2018) stating that the sharing of a press release on LinkedIn was considered illegal advertisement of medicinal products. The decision is of importance, as it is the first decision from the DMA regarding LinkedIn.

In the case, an employee from the Danish division of Amgen had shared a press release on LinkedIn regarding new study data for the anti-cancer drug, Krypolis.

Under Danish law, it is forbidden to advertise prescription-only medicinal products to the public and in the current case the DMA should thus assess whether sharing of the press release on LinkedIn could be considered as such advertisement.
DMA emphasized that the press release contained positive references and recommendations for Krypolis and therefore sharing of the press release on Linkedin constituted illegal advertisement. However, the DMA did not find that the employer was liable as it was unaware of their employee's sharing of the press release. With reference to the circumstances in the case, the DMA decided not to pursue the case further and therefore not to refer the case to the court. Thus no fine was imposed on the employee.
The case is the first of its kind in Denmark and may create precedent for similar cases in the future.

A prior version of this post was originally published by the same authors in Practical Law – Life Sciences, March 2017 Issue (Thomson Reuters).

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