Urgo laboratories condemned for gifts to pharmacists: what the law says

Urgo laboratories condemned for gifts to pharmacists: what the law says


What do they have in common? between Urgo laboratories and the dental equipment manufacturers GACD and Promodentaire? All three were convicted, respectively in 2021 and 2017, for non-compliance with the “anti-gifts law”. They had each delivered watches, bottles of champagne, smartphones and other rewards to thousands of practitioners. Around 8,000 pharmacists – including the last Minister of Health in the Borne government Agnès Firmin le Bodo — for Urgo, approximately the same number of dental surgeons for GACD and Promodentaire, according to the Directorate General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Prevention (DGCCRF).

These anti-gift regulations began to apply in 1993. The aim was to regulate the advantages offered by medical device companies (dental equipment, dressings, prostheses, etc.) to healthcare professionals. Clearly, that the latter be guided solely by medical considerations, without personal or financial motivation.

It was strengthened in 2020, and the rule is simple: it is prohibited for a manufacturer to offer benefits in cash or in kind to doctors, pharmacists and other practitioners… who are prohibited from accepting them. . “All health professionals are now concerned, including students,” says Caroline Lantero, lawyer specializing in health law.

Like any rule, the anti-gift law has exceptions, which can be divided into two types. Rewards of “negligible” value, for example 20 euros of office supplies, are authorized. As well as hospitality or training costs for professional use, provided they do not exceed a certain ceiling and are declared on the basis Transparency.sante.gouv.fr.

“Thus, the authorities can monitor the practices of economic operators in terms of granting authorized advantages, gifts being in principle prohibited or must remain of negligible value,” summarizes the DGCCRF. In the event of abuse, a manufacturer risks up to two years in prison and a fine of 750,000 euros. The health professionals involved face up to one year of imprisonment and having to pay a maximum of 75,000 euros.



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