Advertisers Speak Out on New Regulated Products Directive | New times

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A directive from the Rwanda Food and Drugs Authority (Rwanda FDA) requiring broadcasters and advertisers to seek approval before promoting and advertising regulated products has triggered mixed emotions.

Jean Lambert Gatare, director of Isango Star radio and television and journalist, said their news outlet had already started seeking approval from its clients even before the ad was published.

For example, he said, we would not advertise beers made in Rwanda if a customer did not provide approvals from agencies such as Rwanda Standard Board (RSB) and Rwanda FDA.

As an advertiser, he continued, I can’t advertise, say, reflexology services or products, if you don’t have a license from the health ministry because I don’t want to risk to become an accomplice in a crime in the product is prohibited.

“Imagine advertising a beer and later it kills people or makes them sick. The people concerned would come to me and tell me that I sensitized them to buy it, which is bad, ”he said, welcoming the new directive, which he added was long overdue. .

Julius Kwame, Creative Partner and Artistic Director of Nomad Advertising Limited, said they would certainly do what is required by regulation as it is necessary in terms of protecting those who consume or use regulated products.

He said it wouldn’t affect their business because their customers who need to advertise regulated products are going to seek approvals.

“We’re going to ask them for approval. If they don’t have it, we won’t agree to work with them, ”he said.

Sincere Izabayo, a local marketer, said such regulations are necessary for the protection of consumers because products regulated without approval can affect their lives.

For him, the regulation was also important in increasing public confidence in the advertising and marketing industry, as it will be seen as providing genuine information.

However, he suggested that the process of obtaining approvals should be quick in order for companies.

Louis Kamanzi, director and owner of Flash FM and TV, said anything that restricts advertising is tough and can put the brakes on a business.

However, he added, they will engage their customers who sell regulated products to establish that it is easy for them to get FDA Rwanda approvals.

What is not clear, he said, is if they don’t want the products to be on the market or if they don’t want them to be advertised because if you are a seller of products, how will people know if you don’t. t announce them?

In this regard, Dr Emile Bienvenu, director general of the Rwanda FDA, said that they had not withdrawn the regulated products from the market.

Although regulated products such as drugs and dietary supplements could still be sold, they were different from others.

Advertising of drugs with the aim of competing with others can lead to the provision of false information that can harm people’s lives.

For example, it is forbidden to advertise a drug saying that it is more effective than other drugs on the market, Dr Bienvenu said, adding that it is illegal to provide sentimental and commercial information about public health products.

He revealed that it is unethical to advertise a drug on the streets or post pictures and say that the people who took it got better even if that does not prevent this medicine is used in hospitals or sold in pharmacies.

Regarding dietary supplements, he said, as an example, that it is not permissible to advertise a product by saying that it increases someone’s height a lot or by comparing people ; one who used it and another who didn’t.

Article 7 (I) of the Regulations Governing the Promotion and Advertising of Regulated Products in Rwanda stipulates that any person is prohibited from promoting, advertising or carrying out promotional activities of regulated products, prior to obtain written approval from the Rwanda FDA.

Section 8 (I) states that no one shall promote or advertise a regulated product in a manner that is false, deceptive or deceptive or likely to create an erroneous impression regarding its character, value, quantity, composition, merit, its safety or effectiveness as the case may be.

More regulations can be found here.

Regulated products listed include human and veterinary drugs, human and animal vaccines, biologics used in clinical settings as drugs, processed foods for humans and animals, dietary supplements, fortified foods, food fortification and toxic substances.

Others include herbal medicine and medicated cosmetics; as well as human and veterinary medical devices, tobacco and tobacco products, labels, packaging and raw materials used in the manufacture of regulated products, as well as laboratory and cleaning chemicals and pesticides.

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