Rwanda: Ministry of Health Bans Advertisement of Medicines, Medical Services

The Ministry of Health has announced a ban on advertisement of medicines and medical services unless the person advertising has been issued an authorisation.

The ministry informed Rwandans, media houses and local leaders in an announcement published on its Twitter page on July 9.

The announcement was reinforcing a ministerial order issued in January 2019 prohibiting such advertising on media platforms.

“It is prohibited to advertise medicines and medical services by using visuals, discussions, books, on roads, at market, in a public space, by using loudspeakers, social media or other communication channels,” reads part of the announcement.

“Media houses are prohibited from airing adverts about medicines and medical services unless the person who wants to advertise presents an authorisation from the Ministry of Health.”

According to the announcement, it is also prohibited to deliver discussions that concern medicines when you are not representing the Ministry of Health or an institution, organisation or clinic that have been issued an authorisation by the Ministry of Health.

The media is also prohibited from hosting or airing discussions of the people stated above.

In an announcement released on October 27, 2021, Rwanda Food and Drugs Authority (Rwanda FDA) also urged stakeholders involved in the business of regulated products (including drugs) that promoting, informing or advertising regulated products should be done after obtaining approval.

The regulator urged media houses and practitioners such as radios, TVs, print media and online media outlets to desist from airing or publishing any promotional adverts of the regulated products from dealers who do not have official promotion or advertisement authorisation.

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