Healthcare Series: 07 An Important Date to Consider Regarding the Guidance on Applications for Electronic Scientific Meetings and Electronic Product Promotion Meetings

Introduction & Recent Developments

The Turkish Medicine and Medical Devices Agency (“TITCK”) published the Guidance on Applications for Electronic Scientific Meetings and Electronic Product Promotion Meetings in accordance with the Regulation on the Promotional Activities of Medicinal Products for Human Use (“Guidance”) on 14 March 2021. The original Guidance can be found here (available in Turkish) and our previous article on the Guidance can be found here.

The purpose of the Guidance is to set forth the rules for applications made to TITCK for electronic scientific meetings and electronic product promotion meetings by license/permit holders.

An Important Date to Consider for Electronic Scientific Meetings

Although the Guidance, adheres to the general principles of the Regulation on the Promotional Activities of Medicinal Products for Human Use (“Promotion Regulation”), several new regulations specific to digital meetings have been introduced including an upper ceiling limit for the sponsorship of electronic scientific meetings that comes into force on 15 June 2021.

According to the Guidance, as of 15 June 2021:

  • general sponsorship provided by license/permit holders in electronic scientific meetings should not be greater than seven times the gross minimum wage, while
  • satellite symposium sponsorship and the booth participation sponsorship should not be greater than ten times the gross minimum wage. Satellite symposium sponsorship will be evaluated individually for each satellite symposium included in the program.

Within this scope, international electronic scientific meetings organized in Turkey, that are limited to global and continental congresses, will be exempt from the upper ceiling limit stated above.

Under the Guidance:

  • An electronic scientific meeting is defined as domestic or foreign congresses, symposia, workshops, seminars, courses, and meetings organized electronically, with the intention to provide information on a specific topic, by the Ministry of Health, national and international associations of which healthcare professionals are members, healthcare institutes, and institutions, or universities, or professional organizations of physicians/dentists/pharmacists, which are non-public and may only be attended by participants via their customized username and password on specific meeting day(s),
  • General sponsorship for an electronic scientific meeting refers to sponsorship provided to organizers to enable holding such a meeting,
  • Satellite symposium refers to sessions during electronic scientific meetings in which there is product promotion, and
  • Booth participation sponsorship refers to sponsorship provided by a license/permit holder in return for booth space rented electronically from an organization for the purpose of promoting a product or company.

Conclusion

As of 15 June 2021, upper ceiling limitations on electronic scientific meeting sponsorship come into effect. Accordingly, license/permit holders and business departments related to scientific meetings are strongly advised to consider these limits in terms of meetings not only scheduled for forthcoming months but also electronic scientific meetings before the implementation date.