Russian antimonopoly body fines company claiming drug Arbidol is effective against COVID-19
MOSCOW, August 14 (RAPSI) – Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) has imposed a 200,000 rubles (about $2,700) fine on OTC Pharm company for an advertisement claiming medicine Arbidol was therapeutically effective against the coronavirus, according to a statement of the agency’s press service.
This March, the antimonopoly watchdog found this advertisement aired by several broadcasters to be in violation of law; the advertiser was issued a notice of violation.
According to the information FAS received from Russia’s Health Ministry in answer to its request, the Arbidol medical use guidelines do not contain any indication that the medicine is to be used to cure infection caused by the coronavirus; therefore, the advertisement contained claims, which did not correspond to the official instructions on its medical application.
FAS says it did not assess the efficiency of Arbidol, but just examined if the information in the advertisement in question answered legal requirements, Deputy Head of the FAS Directorate for Oversight of Advertising and Unfair Competition Irina Vasilenkova.
The watchdog cites provisions of the law on advertising prohibiting advertisers to use any information other than that contained in the guidelines on the medical use of drugs and medical products and reminds that advertisers are to be responsible for respective violations.