Earlier this year in the Netherlands, the Medical Devices Act has been adapted thereby introducing a ban on inducements that are aimed at stimulating the prescription or supply of medical devices. Details on this policy have been published by the Dutch Foundation for the Code for Pharmaceutical Advertising (CGR) and can be found in their newsletter.
Similar to the Medicines Act, inducements for medical devices are also forbidden, except for following exemptions:

  • Sponsoring is permitted when it complies with certain conditions.
  • Contributions to costs related to meetings and events is allowed. However, understanding of the words ‘meetings’ and ‘events’ in case of medical devices is slightly different from those described in the law on medicines.
  • Fee for services can be granted similarly as in the scope of medicines.
  • Gifts are permitted with a maximum of €50 per gift and €150 per year per supplier (but not per therapeutic classification).
  • Reductions and bonuses can be offered. Additional conditions are included in the policy.

The Medical Devices Act and this policy enter into force on 1 January 2018. The Dutch Ministry of Public Health (VWS) has announced its intention to adapt the policy for medicinal products as well, which will likely be adapted and aligned with the policy for medical devices. Which implicates that also for the specific conditions for sponsoring are to be expected.

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