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In brief

On 22 December 2022, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled on Case C-530/20 concerning the interpretation of Articles 86, 87, and 90 of Directive 2001/83/EC (“Directive”) on the advertising of medicinal products for human use.

Key takeaways

In this regard, the CJEU clarified that the dissemination of information encouraging the purchase of medicines based on price, as made by a Latvian company that offered a percentage reduction on the sale price of any medicine in case of the purchase of three additional products, falls within the definition of “advertising of medicines”.

In addition, the CJEU construed Article 87 of the Directive by recognizing, for advertising of non-prescription and non-reimbursable medicines, the Member States’ prerogative to ban any element able to encourage an irrational use of medicines. Such elements also cover combination sales since, for the aforementioned category of medicines, the economic criterion related to the price can be so influential that objective assessments of both the medicines’ therapeutic properties and the patient’s medical needs might be overshadowed.


Roberto Cursano has been a lawyer in Baker McKenzie since September 2007. He focuses on healthcare law and compliance, and assists in tender procedures, the negotiation of public contracts and litigation before administrative courts. Mr. Cursano is a former administrative officer in the Italian Ministry of Health and helps clients work closely with the Italian Public Administration. He is admitted to the bar before the Italian Supreme Court and the Council of State. As well as training and tutoring in the master’s degree program on clinical trials of pharmaceutical products at the University of Rome Sapienza, Mr. Cursano regularly publishes articles and scientific contributions. He also frequently hosts and participates in seminars and presentations on pharmaceutical and administrative law matters.


Riccardo Ovidi is an Associate in Baker McKenzie Rome office.

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