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German medical device advertising laws to be less restrictive on testimonials

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Germany

German medical device advertising laws to be less restrictive on testimonials

The German Act on Advertisements in the Healthcare Sector has been amended to bring it in line with the EU Medical Device Directives. It contains important changes for advertising to the general public in Germany.

The main changes are as follows:

  • Health claim use clarified – It is now prohibited for advertisers to suggest either that: using a certain medical device can enhance health; or that not using that device can harm health. (There was previously a simple prohibition on advertising "likely to raise or exploit fears".
    • In practice – This is merely a clarification, and is not expected to impact on the practice of medical device advertisers.
  • Third party statements now allowed – The previous ban on any third-party statement has been removed. Third party statements are now permitted, except where they refer in 'improper, alarming or misleading terms' to letters of thanks or recommendations.
    • In practice – Advertising using testimonials will now be allowed. It is recommended that the specific wording of such testimonials be reviewed before publication.

We are happy to provide more guidance on the amendments if required.

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