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Guideline for Advertisement and Promotion of Health Products and Technologies

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  • Create Date February 14, 2022
  • Last Updated February 15, 2022

Guideline for Advertisement and Promotion of Health Products and Technologies

Advertisement and promotion of medicines and medical devices remains an important means of creating awareness and disseminating information to the general public and healthcare professionals.

Advertisement and promotion of health product and technologies remains an important means of creating awareness and disseminating information to the general public and healthcare professionals. Advertising based on sound standards and ethics has many benefits - advertisements provide information about medicinal products, the conditions they treat and what health benefit they can be expected to provide. Advertising refreshes consumer awareness, aids decision making by simplifying choosing a medicine for an identified healthcare need when consumers are pursuing their healthcare requirements, and enhances distinctiveness of specific medicine benefits (e.g., treatment outcomes). Reach is also enhanced through consumer education. Advertising also provides a means of updating society on the latest advances and availability of medicines. Advertisements and promotions can also, if not carried out correctly, mislead consumers and in turn affect their health. Unethical advertisements and advertisements that are based on false claims also negatively affect the lives of consumers.

Over the last two years, there has been a large increase in the number of advertisements and promotions across all mediums and media in Kenya indeed, a welcome activity. However, there has also been an increase in the advertisement of unregistered medicines, medicines with otherwise little safety, quality and efficacy-related data and advertisements and promotions that have not been approved by the Medicines Regulatory Authority- the Pharmacy and Poisons Board. This poses a great threat to the safety of the consumers- something that is unacceptable by the Ministries responsible for Health.

These guidelines have been developed to provide information on the current minimum requirements for authorization to advertise and promote health products, on conventional, alternative, human and veterinary medical products and devices in Kenya. The guidelines stipulate, among other things, elements of advertisement and promotion, restrictions therein, basic requirements and the application procedures for obtaining approval to advertise and promote.

All are encouraged to be conversant and implement these guidelines in their practice.

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