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Veterinary Biologics Guideline 3.5E
Guideline for Advertising of Veterinary Biologics

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I. Introduction

The purpose of this guideline is to provide information on the requirements for the advertising of veterinary biologics in Canada. The advertising of veterinary biologics in Canada is regulated by the Canadian Centre for Veterinary Biologics (CCVB) of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency under the legal authority of the Health of Animals Regulations. There is no requirement for approval of an advertisement by the CCVB prior to its publication. Consequently, the CCVB does not ordinarily review and provide comments on the acceptability of draft advertisements; however, the CCVB investigates all complaints about inappropriate advertising, and will take necessary actions against false or misleading advertisements.

II. Legal Authority

Health of Animals Regulations, Part XI

135. (1) No person shall, in any advertisement for the sale of a veterinary biologic, make any claim with respect to the purity, safety, potency and efficacy of the veterinary biologic that is not supported by the product outline for such veterinary biologic.

135. (2) No person shall, in any advertisement for the sale of a veterinary biologic, make any representation that is false, misleading or deceptive or that is likely to create an erroneous impression regarding the character, value, quality, composition, merit or safety of the advertised veterinary biologic.

III. Scope and Definition of an Advertisement

Advertising includes all information about a veterinary biologic intended for publication in order to present a product to a target audience. This can be done through television, radio, the Internet, newspapers, magazines, scientific journals, promotional brochures, and handouts. Items bearing the logo or trade name of a veterinary biologic, but not making claims about the product, are not covered by the scope of this Guideline. Peer-reviewed published scientific articles are not considered to be advertisements, provided they are available in a complete unedited format.

IV. General guidance

Advertisers should observe the following general guidelines when preparing advertising materials:

  1. Veterinary biologics should be advertised and promoted on their own merits, in a positive manner.
  2. Veterinary biologics that are not licensed for general sale and distribution in Canada should not be advertised or promoted in Canada.
  3. All advertisements must be consistent with the approved label claims.
  4. All claims must be supported by the most recent version of the Outline of Production and research reports, filed with the CCVB.
  5. All statements about the safety and efficacy of a product should be supported by references to pertinent studies.
  6. Descriptive adjectives must be supported by data.
  7. Comparisons of products must be audience appropriate, factual, and fair. Specific comparisons between competing products must be based on objective scientific data that can be made available on request to all interested parties. The relative merits of a product should be presented in a positive manner.
  8. The use of unsubstantiated superlative statements, negative statements, absolute statements, and vague comparisons are generally considered to be misleading and therefore should not be used.
  9. Testimonial statements are not exempt from other requirements listed in this guideline, and should be referenced to clearly identify the source.
  10. Guarantees, which apply to the quality of the product, are generally acceptable, provided the manufacturer will support them. If there are conditions under which the guarantee is void, such conditions must be stated.

All complaints about published advertisements, along with the details of the complaints and supporting documents, should be submitted to the CCVB in writing.

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