New Provisions on Advertising and Promotion Activities in Healthcare Services
The Regulation on Promotional and Informative Activities in Healthcare Services (Regulation) was published in the Official Gazette on July 29th by the Turkish Ministry of Health (Ministry). The main purpose of Regulation is to determine the basic principles and criteria for promotional and informative activities in healthcare services. Regulation outlines the procedures and principles for the supervision of these activities and the sanctions that will be applied. The main points of Regulation are summarized below:
- Regulation defined and regulated “advertising” and “promotional activities” as two distinct concepts.
- Regulation prohibited “covert or overt advertising in healthcare service provision”. In this context, while advertising is directly prohibited, it is explicitly stated that the use of before-and-after images in healthcare service presentations and the utilization of sponsored content are also prohibited.
- Principles to be followed in promotional and informative activities were established. It is stipulated that promotional and informative activities can only be conducted in compliance with the principles outlined in the Regulation. Although provisions regarding this existed before, Regulation provides clearer and more precise boundaries.
- It is required that promotional and informative activities conducted on social sharing and internet platforms adhere to the principles outlined in Regulation. It is stated that those who engage in activities that contradict these principles, as well as those who share such content, are equally responsible.
- Concerning healthcare-related promotional and informative content disseminated through social sharing and internet sites, it is stipulated that if elements constituting a criminal offence endangering human health, negatively affecting diagnosis and treatment processes, or obstructing these processes are identified, a criminal complaint will be filed in accordance with Internet Law No. 5651 to block access to the relevant content.
Regulation imposes stringent obligations on both healthcare professionals and facilities providing healthcare services, as well as those involved in promotional and informative activities on the internet. We will be monitoring developments related to the implementation of the Regulation. It is a matter of curiosity for everyone how this Regulation will be implemented in the sector.
Regulation entered into force upon publication. You can access the full text of Regulation here (Only available in Turkish).