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In brief

On 21 July 2023 the Ministry of Health published on its website new guidelines on the advertising of over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription-free medicinal product (SOP).

Key takeaways 

The purpose of the guidelines, which replace those previously issued on the subject, is to provide updated instructions on health advertising to the public, also in consideration of the availability of new means of disseminating of advertising messages resulting from the constant development of new marketing and communication techniques.

The new guidelines include several innovations compared to their previous version, including the provision of specific wording that must accompany advertising messages related to OTC and SOP medicines as well as the identification of conditions for the use of social networks as channels for the dissemination of advertising messages. As regards this last aspect, the guidelines introduce for the first time detailed instructions on the TikTok channel (in addition to those provided for Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube) and specify that the dissemination of advertising messages through social networks not regulated by the same guidelines is currently not allowed.


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.


Francesca R. Baratta is an Associate in Baker McKenzie Rome office.

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