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Medical Marketing: what is it and what are the rules?
September 10, 2020
Jessyca Beltrami Romero

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Have you ever heard of medical marketing? Ascension of social media has made it essential for trademarks and companies to be present and accessible for their customers. That includes your office.  Undoubtedly, advertisement can be a powerful ally to increase your clinic visibility and create a confidence link with your patient.  However, there are strict […]

Have you ever heard of medical marketing? Ascension of social media has made it essential for trademarks and companies to be present and accessible for their customers. That includes your office. 

Undoubtedly, advertisement can be a powerful ally to increase your clinic visibility and create a confidence link with your patient. 

However, there are strict rules to follow to the letter when publishing information and services in this sector.

We prepared this article for your better understanding of what medical marketing is. Therefore, get to know the directives of Brazilian Code of Medical Ethics on the subject, and the Resolution CFM No. 1974/11, which regulates the activity. Also, read about what is allowed or not for promoting your work.

 

What is medical marketing?

 

Let us understand what marketing is, first place.

Marketing is, basically, “the art of exploring, creating and delivering value to satisfy market needs through products or services that may interest consumers. The purpose of marketing is to create value and call the customer’s attention, generating profitable relations for both parts“.

Moreover, if you are interested in getting to know more about this tool, see this special issue from the company Resultados Digitais.

 

marketing médico

 

 

Medical market, in its turn, is personalized for the communication needs within the healthcare sector, involving doctors, offices, clinics and other professionals and institutions of the area. For example, your target audience are patients instead of clients, as in traditional marketing.

Another premise is that advertising must obey exclusive ethical principles of educational guidance.

How to start working with medical marketing? First, it is fundamental to know the regulations of Brazilian Code of Medical Ethics and the Resolution CFM No. 1974/11, established by the Federal Council of Medicine (CFM) and the Committee for Disclosure of Medical Information (Codame).

 

Code of Medical Ethics

 

The Code of Medical Ethics determines some of the restrictions on the advertisement of medical information by professionals. The main ones follow below:

 

  • Take part in the promotion of medical information, in any means of mass communication, without the exclusive character of social elucidation and education;
  • Publish information on medical matters in a sensationalist, promotional way or with untrue content. 
  • Publish, outside the scientific community, any treatment or discovery whose value is still not expressly and scientifically recognized by a competent body;
  • Announce scientific titles you cannot prove and specialty or field of action for which you are not eligible and registered with the Regional Council of Medicine;
  • Take part in ads of commercial companies of any nature, making use of your profession;
  • Keep from including, in professional ads of any kind, your name, registration number with the Regional Council of Medicine, with the Federation State where it is registered, as well as the Specialist Qualification Registration (RQE), whenever announcing your specialty.

 

Warning: the ads of healthcare facilities must contain their technical director’s name, as well as registration number with the Regional Council of Medicine.

 

Resolution CFM No. 1974/2011

 

marketing médico

 

Resolution CFM No. 1.974/2011 aims to regulate all announcements and promotional pieces with information referring to doctors and clinics in any means of communication.

Therefore, it imposes some mandatory rules for advertisements in the healthcare area.

Understand the main mandatory requirements, what is and what is not allowed in medical marketing, according to that resolution:

 

What is mandatory

 

Mandatory information in medical ads:

  1. a) Name of professional;
  2. b) Specialty and/or area of practice, when registered with the Regional Council of Medicine;
  3. c) Registration number with the Regional Council of Medicine;
  4. d) Specialist Qualification Number (RQE), in case you are a specialist.

On the other hand, ads of clinics, hospitals, health houses, healthcare providers and other health institutions, must contain the name of the medical technical director and his corresponding registration with the Regional Council, in whose jurisdiction the health establishment is located.

 

What is not allowed

 

  • Promote a device claiming it to be of exclusive use;
  • Take part in advertisements of commercial companies or their products, as well as of medical trade union entities or associations;
  • Allow your name to be included in misleading advertisement;
  • Allow your name to circulate in subjects without scientific rigor in any media;
  • Advertise any method or technique not recognized by the Federal Council of Medicine as valid for medical practice;
  • Expose a patient as a way to promote technique, method or treatment result, even with his/her consent;
  • Advertise the use of exclusive treatment techniques;
  • Assure, promote or insinuate food treatment results. As, for example, using sensationalist statements as “the best”, “the only one” or “guaranteed result”;
  • Social media posting of selfie, images and/or audios featuring sensationalism, self-promotion or unfair competition;
  • Publication of “before and after” images of procedures;
  • Promote address and telephone number of office, clinic or service;
  • Exaggerated advertising pieces, even of established procedures, that avoid technical concepts and prioritize personal performance where you work or have personal interest;
  • Publicly convey information that causes concern to society, even if scientifically proven;
  • Publish, outside the scientific community, any treatment or discovery whose value is still not expressly and scientifically recognized by a competent body;
  • Assure, promise or insinuate good treatment results without scientific proof;
  • Consult, diagnose or prescribe by any means of mass communication or remotely;
  • Present, in an abusive, misleading or frightening way, visual representations of changes in the human body caused by diseases or injuries;
  • Publish prices for procedures, accepted payment/installment modalities or possible discounts as a way to make a difference in service quality.

 

What is allowed

 

  • Promote courses and updates related to your specialty or practice area, properly registered with the Regional Council of Medicine;
  • Provide information, give interviews and publish strictly educational articles.

 

Conclusion

 

Codame (Brazilian Portuguese for Committee for Disclosure of Medical Information) Manual, attached to the resolution, contains all the specific rules for disclosure in graphic materials, radios, television, internet and interviews to the media.

Consult the Committee in any of the Regional Councils of Medicine whenever there are doubts, in order to adequate the advertisement to legal an ethical regulations.

 

Would you like to know more about medical administration?  Follow Phelcom blog. 

 

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