Life Sciences Newsletter, March 2018

Advertising ban on contact lenses

Dicle Doğan and Nehir Aydeniz, Gün+Partners

The Turkish Medicines and Medical Devices Agency has announced that contact lenses are considered to be medical devices that cannot be advertised to the public.

The Regulation on the Sales, Advertisement, and Promotion of Medical Devices dated 15 May 2014 states that advertising a medical device to the public is prohibited if that medical device has to be exclusively used or applied by a healthcare professional or if the medical device is reimbursed by the Social Security Institution.

As a result of some medical device companies being confused as to the scope of the prohibition, the Turkish Medicines and Medical Devices Agency clarified in an announcement (Turkish language) on 6 March 2018 that contact lenses are considered to be among those products included in the Social Security Institution’s reimbursement scheme. The Agency refers to the Social Security Institution’s Health Implementation Communiqué, which details the conditions of reimbursement of products and has a section titled “contact lenses”. Although the Communiqué provides specific cases where lenses are reimbursed, regardless of their brand or model, the Agency has confirmed that the list is not exclusive and that all contact lenses shall be considered as medical devices that are reimbursed.

First published by Practical Law, in 30.03.2018