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Arian Gruener

Arian Gruener is an Associate in Baker McKenzie Frankfurt office.

In its recent judgment (24 March 2022 – C-533/20, Somogy Megyei Kormányhivatal/Upfield Hungary Kft.), the European Court of Justice has decided how specific the labeling of vitamins in the list of ingredients of food must be. The court ruled that indicating the specific vitamin formulation (e.g., “cholecalciferol”) is unnecessary. Rather, using the more general name of the vitamin such as “Vitamin D” in the list of ingredients is sufficient. In addition, the judgment of the court can be understood in such a way that indicating the more complex vitamin formulation in the list of ingredients might even be prohibited.

In Germany, the digitalization of the healthcare market is a hot topic. “Digital health” is prominently featured in the coalition agreement of the newly elected German federal government. At the same time, there is still skepticism within the medical community on whether quality standards might fall victim to these rapid developments. Now, the German Federal Civil Court has addressed some of those concerns. In its December 2021 ruling (I ZR 146/20), the court has ruled that advertisement for comprehensive tele-treatment of patients (Fernbehandlung) violates applicable law.

As of 1 January 2022, Germany has set up a mandatory public lobbying register. Its broad scope covers – similar to the EU transparency register – every entity which regularly communicates with the German federal executive or legislative to represent and further its interests. As a result, every company with a public affairs department may fall under its scope. Such companies will need to complete their initial registration by 28 February 2022.

The heads of the Social Democratic Party, the Green Party and the Free Democratic Party presented the coalition agreement of the newly elected German federal government on Wednesday, 24 November 2021. One focus lies on the healthcare and life sciences sector. From driving forward the digitalization of the healthcare market, ensuring the sufficient supply of medicinal products and vaccines, and more restrictions on the prices of medicinal products, to strengthening pharmacies in underserved areas and legalizing recreational cannabis, the new government has set itself a substantive health agenda for the next four years.