Special FeaturesLast update: September 23, 2020


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We have enhanced the Ask PAAB section to make it more user-friendly due to the growing number of questions. You can now select a category of interest from the drop down menu above to view existing question and answers or you can also do a search for questions that have been submitted to Ask PAAB since the beginning.

Most Recent Questions and Answers

What are the rules regarding using similar graphic symbols for branded PAAB approved promotional pieces addressed to HCPs and branded DTC materials for the same OTC product. Is it acceptable that they have the same graphic elements such as icons to illustrate the approved claims/indications?

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With regards to Question #645, the question asked about repurposing a piece approved for DTC use with "potential patients". Is a potential patient not viewed as a consumer? I thought the definition of patient was restricted to those who had already been prescribed a drug. I had previously been advised by a PAAB reviewer that pieces for "potential patients" would be reviewed as DTC. Could you please clarify the differences in these audiences? Thank you.

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If a efile was previously exempted and no changes were made, does the file need to go through PAAB assessment again (re-exemption)?

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How can I access archival copies of the PAAB Code? I am looking for the version relevant to 1996. Many thanks. 

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Hello, I'm looking for where to find guidance regarding regulations for executing a 'help seeking' DTC campaign for vaccines at the same time as a branded DTC vaccine campaign. Given the DTC nature, pre-clearance would likely be through ASC. I've reviewed the guidance from Health Canada at length and am well aware of the criteria for help seeking. My understanding is that the help seeking and branded campaigns must be different (ie: in colour, tag lines etc) and not linked in any way, but I'm unable to find specific direction. I'd like to be more clear on how the campaigns must be different, assuming they are not linked in anyway (visually or otherwise), and if/how they may be executed concurrently. ie: can a vaccine help seeking TV ad be on during the same time a vaccines DTC branded banner ad or social media campaign is running (again, assuming not linked in any way). Thank you in advance for your assistance.

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Hi, I'm from the Arthritis Society. I have a company that is currently developing a product; in phase 2. They want to support/sponsor one of our tool in a field that is relevant to their upcoming indication. Content and material will be elaborate by the Society without any interference by the pharma company. Would that interfere with any regulation in Canada. If so, which one? Thanks Ken Gagnon

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If a representative during a social meal mentions to an HCP a reference to a slide that was viewed at another meeting to HCP's with regards to utilization rates of a genericized molecule, is this considered a violation?

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Can ongoing studies for a group of products (same therapeutic category) be discussed in a Corporate APS, or must this be done in individual branded APS? For example, a company has a portfolio of diabetes drugs that with ongoing research into weight loss indications, and would like to produce a single piece discussing all trials.

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We have an online newsletter where we post healthcare-related information, as well as society news pertaining to our association. Our member and supporter base primarily consists of hospital pharmacists as well as a small number of architects, students, and pharmaceutical companies. We can set-up advertising on the site to require a login to limit access by the general public. My concern is with the students who are not yet healthcare professionals, the pharmaceutical organizations, and the small number of architect members. Would their exposure to pharmaceutical advertising go against PAAB standards, even if we include a disclaimer that the advertisements are meant for healthcare professionals only? When we used to have a print journal that contained advertising for pharmaceutical products, the same individuals would have received copies of it. To my knowledge, this was not an issue in the past. However, we would appreciate some guidance to ensure we are being PAAB compliant, as online advertising is new to our association. Thank you kindly. 

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Can patient survey data from CADTH be used for an unbranded tool on current patient experience and behaviour?

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Deputy Commissioner  

Jennifer Carroll
Senior Reviewer Communications

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Code of Advertising Acceptance
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Have a great summer and see you in September.