Pharmaceutical Advertising in Denmark - Where did Freedom of Expression go?

Nicolai Ellehuus, Corporate Counsel, Novo Nordisk As, Denmark
Nicolai Ellehuus, Corporate Counsel, Novo Nordisk As, Denmark

Differences in the legal approach to advertisement of pharmaceuticals still exist within the European Union even though Directive 2001/83/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 November 2001 on the Community code relating to medicinal products for human use should have provided a common approach. This essay will give the reader an overview of the Danish legal framework for advertisement of pharmaceuticals by introducing the Danish authorities and regulations governing the marketing and advertising of pharmaceutical products in Denmark. Furthermore 3 hot topics consisting of Disease Awareness, Press Announcements and the use of Quotes and Stories from Patients have been chosen to highlight some of the areas where pharmaceutical companies in Denmark are often finding themselves in a delicate challenge of wanting not to perform advertisement but where plenty of pitfalls offer themselves in order to come within the rules of advertisement. Two landmark cases will be scrutinized in order to give the reader an insight into the legal reasoning of when the advertisement laws are applicable. The Damgaard case will present an interesting discussion of freedom of expression opposed to advertisement of pharmaceuticals while the MerckSerono Nordic vs. Ferring Pharmaceuticals A/S case will give the reader an opportunity to understand the use of the lex specialis principle in regards to advertisement. Finally the author will give his guess at what tomorrow’s hot topic will be in Denmark in regards to the advertisement of pharmaceuticals vs. disease awareness. This article lays out some considerations in the form of a multi-step approach, to help manage this risk.

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Denmark Advertising Pharmaceutical September 2010 Vol. 3, No. 12, Summer 2010

Nicolai Ellehuus

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Nicolai Ellehuus: 1980: Born in Copenhagen, Denmark Education: 2000-2003: Bachelor of Law, Copenhagen University, Denmark 2003-2004: Diplôme Administration et Politiques Internationales (Law degree) from the Université Pierre Mèndes France in Grenoble, France 2005-2006: Brittingham Viking Scholar at Law School of University of Wisconsin-Madison (LL.M. studies), USA 2003-2007: Master of Laws, Copenhagen University, Denmark Work experience: 2000-2003: Legal trainee at public tribunal under Danish Justice Department 2004-2007: Legal trainee at international law firm working with intellectual property 2007-2009: Legal Counsel and Group AML Officer at international investment bank 2009- to-date: Attorney-at-Law and Corporate Counsel at Novo Nordisk

Nicolai Ellehuus

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Nicolai Ellehuus: 1980: Born in Copenhagen, Denmark Education: 2000-2003: Bachelor of Law, Copenhagen University, Denmark 2003-2004: Diplôme Administration et Politiques Internationales (Law degree) from the Université Pierre Mèndes France in Grenoble, France 2005-2006: Brittingham Viking Scholar at Law School of University of Wisconsin-Madison (LL.M. studies), USA 2003-2007: Master of Laws, Copenhagen University, Denmark Work experience: 2000-2003: Legal trainee at public tribunal under Danish Justice Department 2004-2007: Legal trainee at international law firm working with intellectual property 2007-2009: Legal Counsel and Group AML Officer at international investment bank 2009- to-date: Attorney-at-Law and Corporate Counsel at Novo Nordisk

Novo Nordisk As

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Novo Nordisk is a global healthcare company with 87 years of innovation and leadership in diabetes care. The company also has leading positions within haemophilia care, growth hormone therapy and hormone replacement therapy. Headquartered in Denmark, Novo Nordisk employs more than 29,300 employees in 76 countries, and markets its products in 179 countries. Novo Nordisk sales totaled DKK 51.078 million (EUR 6.860 million) in 2009.

Denmark Advertising Pharmaceutical September 2010 Vol. 3, No. 12, Summer 2010
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