The Impact Of Uzbekistan’s New Unified Regulation On Medicines And Supplements Advertising Via TV And Radio Channels

Uzbekistan has recently introduced a new unified regulation for advertising medicines and supplements on TV and radio channels. Resolution No. 169, adopted on March 29, 2024, aims to ensure transparency and truthfulness in pharmaceutical advertising.

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Key Takeaways: Uzbekistan’s New Advertising Regulations for Medicines and Supplements

  • Uzbekistan adopted Resolution No. 169 on March 29, 2024, introducing a new regulation for advertising medicines and supplements on TV and radio to ensure transparency and truthfulness.
  • Starting from April 2, 2024, pharmaceutical companies can apply for advertisement approval through Centers of Public Services or the Unified Portal of Interactive Public Services without any fee for application review or permission issuance.
  • The Ministry of Health reviews each advertisement application within five business days to confirm it meets health standards before issuing an indefinite Conclusion that allows legal entities to advertise their products.
  • If a company changes its ad content, it must reapply for a new Conclusion under Resolution No. 169 to keep their advertisements up-to-date and compliant with current regulations.
  • An electronic register maintained by the Ministry of Health tracks all approved medicine and supplement advertisements, ensuring only verified products are advertised on TV and radio while protecting confidential information shared during the application process.
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Understanding Uzbekistan’s New Unified Regulation on Medicines and Supplements Advertising

Resolution No. 169: A Closer Look

The Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan adopted Resolution No. 169 on March 29, 2024. This key document set new rules for how companies can advertise medicines and dietary supplements on TV and radio channels.

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It marks a significant step forwards in regulating how pharmaceutical products are presented to the public, ensuring that ads are transparent and truthful.

Starting April 2, 2024, these rules came into effect, with services for obtaining necessary permissions made available from May 1 through Centers of Public Services (CPS) or the Unified Portal of Interactive Public Services (UPIPS).

This process makes it easier for legal entities to get their ads approved without any fees for application review or permission issuance. 

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How to Apply for Advertising Approval Under the New Regulation

Effective Date and Application Process

Resolution No. 169 started shaping the future of medical and supplement advertising in Uzbekistan on April 2, 2024. 

Starting from May 1, 2024, legal entities looking to advertise their products on TV and radio can apply through two easy methods.

  • Entities can head to the Centers of Public Services (CPS) to submit their applications in person. These centers provide a face-to-face service that guides applicants through each step.
  • Alternatively, submissions can be made online via the Unified Portal of Interactive Public Services (UPIPS). This digital platform streamlines the process, allowing for quick and efficient application from anywhere.
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What are the Centers of Public Services in Uzbekistan?

The Centers for Public Services (CPS) in Uzbekistan, also known as “Single Window Centers” or “One Stop Shops,” are government-run facilities that provide a wide range of public services to citizens and businesses in a centralized location. 

These centers were established to improve the efficiency and accessibility of public services, reduce bureaucracy, and combat corruption.

The CPS system was introduced in Uzbekistan in 2017 as part of the government’s efforts to reform public administration and improve the business environment. 

The centers operate under the Public Services Agency, which is overseen by the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

Some of the services provided by the Centers for Public Services include:

  • Issuing various permits, licenses, and certificates
  • Registering businesses and property rights
  • Providing social services and benefits
  • Offering notary services
  • Assisting with tax-related matters
  • Providing legal consultations

Citizens and businesses can access these services through a single application, either in person at a CPS office or online through the Unified Portal of Interactive Public Services. 

What is the Unified Portal of Interactive Public Services in Uzbekistan?

The Unified Portal of Interactive Public Services (UPIPS) is an online platform developed by the government of Uzbekistan to provide citizens and businesses with easy access to a wide range of public services. 

It is a key component of the country’s e-government initiative, which aims to digitalize public administration, reduce bureaucracy, and improve the quality and efficiency of public services.

The UPIPS was launched in 2013 and has since been expanded to include over 300 public services provided by various government agencies. 

The portal allows users to access these services 24/7 from anywhere with an internet connection, eliminating the need to visit multiple government offices in person.

Some of the services available through the UPIPS include:

  • Submitting applications for permits, licenses, and certificates
  • Registering businesses and property rights
  • Paying taxes and utility bills
  • Accessing social services and benefits
  • Obtaining legal information and assistance
  • Participating in public discussions and decision-making processes
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Preparing Your Application for Advertising Approval

Both pathways are designed to make the application process as straightforward as possible for pharmaceutical companies and makers of health supplements. 

Here’s what you need to know about getting your advertisement on air:

  1. Prepare Your Application: Gather all required documentation that details your product and its benefits. Ensure your pharmaceuticals or supplements are properly registered..
  2. Choose Your Submission Method: Decide if you prefer the personal assistance at CPS or the convenience of UPIPS.
  3. Follow Submission Guidelines: Each submission platform has its own set of guidelines. Read these carefully to avoid any delays.
  4. Wait for Review: The Ministry of Health will review your application within five business days, one of the fastest turnaround times in industry regulations.
  5. Receive Your Conclusion Free of Charge: Approved applications receive a Conclusion that allows them to advertise indefinitely without any additional fees.
  6. Update When Necessary: If you change your advertisement’s content, you must apply for a new Conclusion to ensure compliance with current regulations.

Documents Required From Legal Entity Submitting Advertising Application

To apply for the Conclusion, a legal entity must provide the following information:

Company details:

  • Name and legal form of the legal entity
  • Address
  • Telephone number of the representative (General Director, authorized representative, etc.)
  • Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN)
  • Email address (if available)

Advertisement content for medicines or biologically active supplements on TV and radio channels:

  • File (e.g., brochure, presentation, etc.)
  • Audio or video material
  • Text of the advertisement

Power of Attorney:

  • Issued on behalf of the applicant (legal entity)
  • In the name of its representative (either one or other)

If the applicant submits an incomplete set of documents or information, or if the application and accompanying documents contain incorrect or distorted information, the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Uzbekistan will notify the applicant within 2 (two) business days. 

The applicant will then have between 5 (five) and 30 (thirty) business days to correct mistakes and/or submit missing documents.

The Ministry of Health’s Responsibility in Issuing of Advertising Conclusions

The Ministry of Health takes charge of the review process for advertising approvals. They check each application from companies to ensure ads meet health and truth standards.

Responsibility of the Ministry of Health

The Ministry of Health reviews applications for advertising medicines and supplements on TV and radio. 

They ensure each application complies with government regulations. If an application is incomplete or contains errors, the Ministry notifies the applicant and requests corrections within a specified timeframe.

Ensuring Truthful and Safe Advertising for Consumers

The Ministry of Health’s review process ensures drug advertisements are accurate and informative, preventing misleading information from reaching the public. 

Their efforts maintain trust in pharmaceutical advertising, allowing only verified information to be broadcast and protecting public health.

Grounds for Rejection of Advertising Applications

The Ministry of Health checks each application for advertising medicines and supplements. If they find problems, they may not approve it.

Grounds for Rejection

Applying for the right to advertise medical products and supplements on TV and radio in Uzbekistan now follows strict guidelines. This ensures that only accurate and helpful information reaches the public. 

Here are some key reasons why an application might get turned down:

  • Not meeting established regulations: All ads must comply with Resolution No. 169’s requirements. If they fall short, rejection is immediate.
  • Including false details: Providing incorrect information or documents can quickly lead to a denial.
  • Lack of correction: If applicants don’t correct their submissions within the allowed time after being flagged, their chance is lost.
  • Inappropriate content: Ads must not contain any material that misleads or harms viewers’ health choices.
  • Missing review from healthcare professionals: Before submitting, legal entities must ensure that trained medical advisors review their advertisements for accuracy and safety.
  • Advertising unauthorized medicines or clinical trials: Promoting medicines or trials without proper authorization breaches trust and regulations.
  • Confidential data misuse: Misusing personal or confidential information from patients or donors in ads can result in immediate disqualification.
  • Controlled substance promotion: Trying to advertise controlled medicines without clear prescriptions and medical justifications gets an application rejected fast.
  • Overlooking prevention measures: Ads must promote safe use and proper preventive measures for medication; failure to do so is a red flag.
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Updating Approved Advertisements:  Reissuance of Conclusions

Changing the content of drug advertisements requires a new conclusion. 

If companies modify their TV or radio ads for medicines or health supplements, they must apply again for approval.

This rule ensures that all information reaching the public stays accurate and safe.

The Ministry of Health handles these applications promptly. Legal entities looking to update their advertising messages go through this process to receive a fresh conclusion at no cost.

The Ministry of Health’s Electronic Register of Approved Advertisements

Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Health now keeps an electronic list to track all approved medicine and supplement ads. 

This digital record ensures that only safe and checked items get advertised on TV and radio.  Media companies are able to do an independent confirmation that advertisers are authorized.

Ensuring Confidentiality of Application Information

The Ministry of Health of the Republic of Uzbekistan takes the privacy of data seriously, especially when handling applications for advertising medicines and supplements. They keep an electronic ledger to track all issued approvals securely.

This system helps maintain the secrecy of details shared by companies during their application process. Trust is key, and this method ensures that sensitive information stays protected.

Collaboration with Centers for Public Services

Centers for Public Services (CPS) work closely with the Ministry to safeguard these confidential records. They employ strict measures to prevent unauthorized access or leaks. 

Whether it’s a small pharmacy or a large corporation, each entity can rest assured knowing their proprietary data is handled with utmost care and discretion.

The Impact of Uzbekistan’s New Advertising Regulation on the Pharmaceutical Industry

By introducing Resolution No. 169, the government aims to create a level playing field for all companies, primarily impacting those who have previously engaged in misleading or unethical advertising practices.

This new regulation provides clear guidelines for pharmaceutical companies on how to share information about their products in a legal and transparent manner. 

By adhering to these standards, companies can ensure that their advertisements are honest, accurate, and informative, empowering consumers to make well-informed decisions about their health.

The introduction of this regulation is expected to benefit both the public and compliant businesses. 

Consumers will be protected from false or misleading information, allowing them to make safer and more informed choices about the medicines and supplements they use. 

At the same time, companies that have always prioritized ethical advertising practices will be able to promote their products with confidence, knowing that they are operating within the boundaries of the law.

It is worth noting that Kazakhstan implemented a similar advertising regulation a few years ago, and the transition has been largely successful. 

However, companies have learned that they need to plan their content creation process well in advance to allow sufficient time for obtaining approvals and making any necessary changes to their advertising copy, if requested by the regulatory authorities.

Contact Delta Medical for Assistance with Advertising Approvals in Uzbekistan and Pharmaceutical Services in Eurasia

If you have any questions about the advertising approval process in Uzbekistan, contact Delta Medical.

A Swiss pharmaceutical company, with an office in Tashkent, Delta Medical provides regulatory, marketing, and distribution services for pharmaceutical companies throughout Eurasia, the Caucasus, Ukraine, Belarus, and beyond.