There are detailed rules on medicines advertising in Section 11 of the BCAP Code.
For the assessment of factual claims about medicines, treatments, health-related products and services etc, the BCAP Code requires radio stations to obtain generally accepted scientific evidence and independent expert advice. See our Helpnote Robust Clinical Evidence for more on the standard of evidence required. Radiocentre will in most cases refer details of the advertiser’s product/service and substantiation to its medical consultant/s.
Only over-the-counter medicines/pharmaceuticals with a Marketing Authorisation (MA) can be advertised on radio.
Advertisements for medicinal products which are available only on prescription are not acceptable (e.g. Botox).
Under medicines legislation, advertisements can only make medicinal claims if the product has an MA.
Any medicinal claim in advertising copy must reflect the content of the relevant MA.
Claims in scripts that are not covered by Marketing Authorisations will be referred to a Radiocentre medical consultant, together with appropriate substantiation. This should normally be in the form of published clinical trials.
Advertisements for medicinal products must include the name of the product, the name of the active ingredient if it contains only one, an indication of what the product is for and the tag “always read the label” or “always read the leaflet”.
Medicines advertising which gives the impression of advice, endorsement or recommendation for medicinal products by the medical profession or by celebrities is not allowed. Voiceovers, presentations or testimonies by doctors or celebrities for licensed medicines are therefore unacceptable. However, doctors and celebrities may voice and recommend health products (i.e. products without an MA, such as medical devices) provided any claims they make can be substantiated.
Helpnote – Robust Clinical Evidence