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The addition of vitamin C to a medicinal product does not automatically enable the manufacturer to advertise "supports the immune system". This was decided by the Stuttgart Higher Regional Court (OLG) in a judgment announced on Tuesday, June 13, 2017 (file number: 2 U 127/16). It prohibited the advertising of the Ulm generics manufacturer Ratiopharm for its effervescent tablets "ASS + C".
The effervescent tablets contain are approved as pain relievers. They contain 600 milligrams of the pain reliever acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) and 200 milligrams of ascorbic acid (vitamin C). Ratiopharm advertises the tablets with the statement: “With acetylsalicylic acid as an effervescent tablet, it acts quickly against pain. An extra dose of vitamin C supports the immune system. "
A competition association complained. With its recently announced judgment of June 8, 2017, the OLG upheld the lawsuit.
The reference to the protection of the immune system is inadmissible here, judged the Stuttgart judges. Because the drug is not approved for this. However, consumers see the advertising not only as another effect of the drug, but "as an unauthorized naming of another area of application". Consumers with pain who want to strengthen their immune system at the same time could therefore prefer to take the effervescent tablets.
The strengthening of the immune system is apparently not the purpose of vitamin C in the effervescent tablets. In any case, the competition association has unopposedly said that it was added to avoid negative side effects of ASA on the gastric mucosa. mwo