In its decision No. OGYEI/53987/2016 of October 9, 2017, the National Institute of Pharmacy and Nutrition (“OGYEI”) fined Sanofi-Aventis Zrt HUF 9,000,000 (approx. EUR 29,100) for providing prohibited payments (transfer of value) to healthcare professionals.

During administrative proceedings on October 28, 2016, OGYEI established that the materials used for the presentations of the contracted healthcare professionals were identical with Sanofi’s presentation during “round table meetings” (approx. 90% percent of the slides were the same). Consequently, according to OGYEI’s position, the presentation cannot be deemed as the independent intellectual product of the healthcare professional. Therefore, the remuneration paid for such presentations violates Hungarian law.

In case of “expert meetings”, based on the protocol prepared, OGYEI established that no specific, additional preparation - exceeding the scope of the normal work duties of healthcare professionals - was necessary for answering questions arising during such meetings. Therefore, the fee paid by Sanofi to healthcare professionals for these services also qualifies as prohibited transfer of value.

The above findings may support the interpretation already established in OGYEI’s practice that when examining the validity of payments made in exchange for the services of healthcare professionals, the authority evaluates, inter alia, whether (i) the services exceed the scope of the normal work duties and (ii) the final work can be qualified as an independent intellectual product of the healthcare professional.