Departments: Marketing

Health written question – answered on 21st March 2007.

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Photo of Stephen O'Brien Stephen O'Brien Shadow Minister (Health)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what powers she has to examine the (a) veracity, (b) legality and (c) acceptability of claims made by companies outside the UK in their direct marketing to UK consumers; and if she will make a statement.

Photo of Caroline Flint Caroline Flint Minister of State (Department of Health) (Public Health)

There are no powers in United Kingdom medicines legislation to require companies using direct marketing to have the claims they wish to make examined by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). Reports of illegal medicinal products made to the MHRA are investigated regardless of the country of origin. The MHRA examines claims to see whether the product in question is thereby brought within the definition of a medicinal product. The MHRA does not assess the veracity of a claim unless an application for a marketing authorisation is made for a product. If the company is outside the MHRA's jurisdiction it is referred to the relevant regulatory authority.

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