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E-health : legal constraints you can’t ignore you should know about!

July 10, 2017

The healthcare industry is booming. The digital impacts all businesses at all levels each and every players in the health industry is involved, whether it is pharmacist, doctor, pharmaceutical laboratory... Existing practices and patterns in health consumption are evolving considerably! Health professionals are learning about digital marketing to promote and retain consumers.


However, the production and sales of health products are governed by very strict rules.

But are all these players free to do what they want in a highly regulated market? Here are the legal constraints to know for your digital developments in Health.




With the development of online platforms, consumers can now order or search for information directly on the internet without the advice of a healthcare professional. In France, healthcare professionals can offer products online, but this activity is highly regulated since 2013, here is an overview of the different rules that apply:

  • Only pharmacists have the right to create and operate an online drug sales site.

  • The management of the platform must be provided by a pharmacy.

  • It is prohibited to sell medicines subject to compulsory prescription on the net.

  • The creation of an online drug sales site requires the approval of the ARS (Regional Health Agency) with which the pharmacy is attached.

  • The list of websites authorized to market health products will have to be updated regularly by ONP (National Order of Pharmacists). It must also be made available to the public on the official ONP website.

All of these measures have been taken to protect the consumer's health and their well-being. Consumers are advised not to buy health products on online platforms not permitted by law. On these platforms, you can found bad quality products and drugs but also counterfeit products. Several cases have already been encountered of drugs with a false label or even fake medicines.




It is becoming increasingly difficult to communicate in the health sector. Legal constraints are very cumbersome. Health is a very complex field that requires supervision to avoid certain risks with patients. It is therefore not easy to approach the subject on the internet; only experts in the field with digital marketing skills can talk about it.

To succeed in a digital health campaign, you are forced to respect the regulations in force. You will therefore be able to develop different strategies for the smooth running of your campaign. In terms of content marketing, it will be almost impossible to release content that is original.

ANSM (National drug safety agency) controls advertising on medicines

ANSM ensures that advertising:

  • Does not present any danger to Public Health,

  • Is not misleading,

  • Plays a role of informing practitioners,

  • Respects the authorization to place the medicinal product on the market. And the therapeutic strategies recommended by the HAS (High Authority of Health).


Advertising to Health Professionals


In France, it is forbidden to advertise to the public for medicines reimbursed by the Social Security, and / or for medicines listed on a list of poisonous substances.

The only possible channel of information concerns the medical profession, including doctors, pharmacists, dental surgeons, midwives.

It is through their networks of medical visitors that pharmaceutical companies regularly keep practitioners informed, but also of course by the medical press and the new.

Public Advertising

"Consumer" medicines can be purchased without a doctor's prescription from pharmacists.

The publicity that concerns the mainstream medicines is done by advertisement in the press or on the radio, by means of posters, displays, display panels or films and shall always be subject to prior authorization for circulation, French Agency for Sanitary Safety and Health Products after consulting the above-mentioned Commission.


It is therefore important to respect the regulations in order to respect the patient. You must be creative in order to succeed in offering original content while respecting these different rules.

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