The Pharmaceutical Advertising Advisory Board (“PAAB”) has recently made significant changes to the format of its Code of Advertising Acceptance (“PAAB Code”), which provides the standards by which PAAB reviews health product advertising communication to healthcare professionals.
While the principles embodied in the regulatory provisions have not changed, some code sections have been rephrased, repositioned or removed in order to create a more clear and better organized PAAB Code. Hyperlinks have also been added to provide additional clarification when needed, e.g. linking to definitions or Health Canada guidance documents.
In addition, tools have been added to enable users to perform efficient keyword searches and to determine whether a piece is subject to PAAB preclearance. Moreover, PAAB administrative guidelines have been added. These administrative guidelines clarify what material is subject to the application of the PAAB Code and define the steps necessary to submit an advertising for preclearance as well as those to register a complaint.
This new digital and interactive PAAB Code was approved on April 21, 2017 following the PAAB Code Change Committee’s recommendations. According to PAAB’s public announcement on December 6, 2017, which accompanied the release of the “new” PAAB Code, this Committee improved the existing Code by:
- optimizing how content is organized;
- adding definitions; and
- aligning language throughout the PAAB Code.
The new format of the PAAB Code will be implemented on January 1st, 2018 and is available here.