The PAAB logo provides confidence that the materials have undergone independent review. They have been vetted through our preclearance mechanism to ensure rigorous evidentiary support for all claims; for balance between risk and benefit; for consistency with the current marketplace and current medical practice; and for consistency with the Health Canada approved label.
The PAAB runs a preclearance mechanism. Preclearance is a process during which the advertising is reviewed and revised as many times as necessary for the advertising to be deemed to meet all provisions in the PAAB Code of Advertising Acceptance. We refer to it as preclearance (rather than simply clearance) because the entire process takes place before the advertising is used in the marketplace. Canada is one of the few jurisdictions in the world that employs such a robust preventative approach to keep the market clean of misleading advertising. Many other countries rely solely on a monitoring mechanism to react to misleading advertising some time after market exposure. PAAB also employs a monitoring mechanism but this is complementary to preclearance rather than in place of it.
Healthcare professional judgement and prescribing behaviour may be influenced by drug advertising. This may even be the case in the subgroup of healthcare professionals who consider themselves to be “immune” to advertising. Note that even healthcare professionals who refuse to accept visits from drugs representatives are exposed to advertising. PAAB believes that advertising plays an important role in providing timely information to healthcare professionals. The key is that it must be accurate, complete, clear and designed to promote credibility and trust. This is where the PAAB preclearance mechanism fits in.
Yes. Although the PAAB is independent from both Health Canada and the pharmaceutical industry, the PAAB is the only regulator whose preclearance service is recognized by Health Canada for advertising directed to healthcare professionals. Additionally, the member publishers of the Canadian Association of Medical Publishers (CAMP) have committed that all healthcare product advertising subject to the PAAB code carry the PAAB logo. PAAB benefits from having open lines of communication with Health Canada. In fact, Health Canada attends meetings of the PAAB Board of Directors as a non-voting observer. See the composition of the PAAB Board of Directors. This might be the first time you have heard about PAAB. That’s because PAAB has been quietly effective. We’ve been running our preclearance mechanism in Canada for over 40 years. See our timeline from inception to now.
Healthcare product manufacturers are required to ensure that the PAAB logo appears on all materials approved by PAAB (whether print or digital). The presence of this logo indicates that the material has undergone a PAAB review to verify that the content is:
PAAB adjudicates complaints on healthcare professional advertising for healthcare products such as prescription drugs, non-prescription drugs, natural health products, and homeopathy products. You can launch a complaint.
Are you a representative from a healthcare professional association, institution, or university? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like PAAB to come visit your group to perform a presentation about what we do and why we do it.
Click here to see the resources on our website which are particularly relevant to you. For example, we’ve collated a list of documents that outline some of the federal drug advertising regulations which impact you directly. Did you know that healthcare professionals need to be cautious not to contravene federal drug advertising regulations when promoting medical services in the context of medicines?