Life Sciences Newsletter, April 2017

Changes in guidelines on named patient programmes
Dicle Doğan and Merve Çimen, Gun + Partners

On 29 March 2017, the Turkish Medicines and Medical Devices Agency amended the Guidelines on the Supply from Abroad and the Use of Pharmaceuticals. The amended guidelines establish a new practice in the Named Patient Programme (NPP) that enables the Social Security Institution to import non-approved or unavailable pharmaceutical products from abroad on a named patient basis. The former guidelines allowed only the Turkish Pharmacists Association to import products under the NPP.

According to the amended guidelines, the Social Security Institution’s Centre named “Ibn-i Sina Health and Social Security Centre”, located in Ankara, and the Turkish Pharmacists Association will be authorised to import products without marketing authorisations to Turkey or products that have marketing authorisations but are non-available on the Turkish market.

Source: Turkish Medicines and Medical Devices Agency: New Guidelines on the Supply from Abroad and the Use of Pharmaceuticals, 29 March 2017 (Turkish language).

Turkish Medical Association Publishes Guidelines on Desired Ethical Behaviour
Dicle Doğan and Nehir Aydeniz, Gun + Partners

On 30 March 2017, the Turkish Medical Association, the physicians’ union in Turkey, published a notice on its website reminding physicians and health organisations of the ethical behaviour expected of them. The recent notice draws attention to the growing use of social media that sometimes infringes rules on the promotion or advertisement of services and products of the health sector, or violates the privacy of patients.

The notice refers to the Guidelines on the Activities of Physicians and Health Organisations on the Electronic Platform that the association had published in June 2016, which include a set of rules on the ethical behaviour expected of physicians.

The guidelines regulate the content on physicians’ websites, prohibiting the inclusion of:

  • Any information other than the personal professional information of the physician such as their expertise and academic achievements.
  • Any reference to information that is not scientifically legitimate or that is outdated.
  • Anything that may compromise patient privacy.

A reasonably visible disclaimer that information shared is for information purposes only and that a physician must be consulted for diagnosis and treatment must be included on each website.

Possible disciplinary sanctions for the violation of these ethical principles are set in the Law numbered 1219 on Health Services and in the By-Law on the Medical Deontology.

Source: Turkish Medical Association: Guidance from TTB against ethical violations prevailing in electronic media, 30 March 2017 (Turkish language).