- Norwegian and European rules and regulations allow the
pharmaceutical industry to inform the general public about health,
disease and treatments. A less restrictive Norwegian administrative
practice will enable the expertise of the pharmaceutical industry
to be used also in Norway for the benefit of the public
- Norwegian patients benefit from optimal access to
objective, sober and well qualified information about disease and
treatment options from various sources, including the
- Objective, well qualified health and medicines
information from the pharmaceutical industry can contribute to more
rational use of medicinal products and a more effective health
service. Information of this kind can also better equip the general
public to choose among different treatment options.
What is health and medicines information?
By health and medicines information we mean general
information on health and disease, or specific information about an
illness/disorder (disease awareness campaigns, or DACs). The
information should focus on describing the health risk/disease in
question, so that the reader can identify and recognise its
symptoms. Discussion of available treatment options shall be given
a subordinate place, and a neutral description shall be provided of
all accepted treatment options. The information shall additionally
point out that any treatment must be decided upon by a doctor.
The information may not contain any direct or indirect account
of specific medicinal products which indicates that it has been
provided with a view to promoting sales of a particular medicine.
Thus health and medicines information cannot be regarded as
promotion, which in the case of prescription medicines is not
permitted in relation to the general public. In LMI's view, the
fact that the company providing the information has approval for a
medicine against the disorder/disease in question cannot be
regarded as sufficient to classify the information as promotion.
What is the benefit of information of this kind?
LMI believes that health and medicines information from
various sources - including the pharmaceutical industry - can
improve the knowledge of the general public about health issues.
This information will increase awareness, which in turn could
contribute to more rational use of medicines and a more effective
health service. Information of this kind can put the general public
in a better position to make choices between different treatment
The pharmaceutical industry possesses substantial knowledge about
health-related issues through its research in connection with the
development of new medicines. It should be possible to use this
knowledge to boost the health-related knowledge of the Norwegian
Both Norwegian and European law allow the pharmaceutical
industry to provide objective health and medicines information to
Norwegian patients. Information of the kind is also published in a
number of European countries without the authorities in these
countries regarding it as promotion. The Norwegian authorities, for
their part, have administered the rules on the basis of an
assumption that all information published by a pharmaceutical firm
is designed to promote sale of medicines.
LMI will work for a less restrictive administrative practice that
enables the pharmaceutical industry's knowledge to be used for the
benefit of the public health.