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IAS 2023

Regulating the promotion of prescription drugs


In 2018, many countries began implementing regulations governing pharmaceutical advertising. These regulations prohibit the promotion of prescription-only medicines or products to the general public. To say it another way, pharmaceutical advertising is only permitted for healthcare providers and pharmaceutical industry professionals.

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What this means for delegates and the registration process

The conferences organized by IAS – the International AIDS Society – attract a multidisciplinary and international audience, and the IAS complies with European and international laws regulating the marketing of prescription drugs.

To do this, the IAS asks all conference delegates to declare their professional status during the registration process in accordance with the IAS Data Privacy Policy. Delegates are then grouped into three categories: healthcare professional (HCP); non-healthcare professional (non-HCP); or industry representative.

The definitions for each category are as follows:

Healthcare professional

Any person who is of the medical, dental, pharmacy or nursing professions or any other person who, in the course of their professional activities, may prescribe, purchase, supply, recommend or administer a medicinal product. This includes any official or employee of a government agency or other organization (whether in the public or private sector) who may prescribe, purchase, supply or administer medicinal products, and any employee of a company whose primary focus is healthcare.

Industry representative

Any person who is part of pharmaceutical company staff (including agency staff and technical contractors supporting promotional activities on the virtual conference platform) other than healthcare professionals employed by a pharmaceutical company.

Non-healthcare professional

Any person who is not qualified as a healthcare professional or industry representative as per the above definitions (including wholesalers or distributors of medicinal products, healthcare client organization representatives and media).

For in-person participants, the category you select during registration is indicated on your delegate badge. Clearly identifying healthcare providers and industry representatives enables pharmaceutical sponsors to easily determine to whom they can promote prescription medicines. The IAS does not accept any liability for the accuracy of the status printed on the delegate’s conference name badge.

If you wish to modify your category, please contact us at

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What this means for session organizers and exhibitors

Due to our multidisciplinary audience, in accordance with mandatory international regulations, the IAS does not allow any advertising or promotion of prescription-only medicines or products in satellite symposia and/or exhibition booths, held in person, virtually or in a hybrid format. All satellite symposia and exhibition content and information available to conference participants must not promote prescription-only medications.

Promotional drug content may be presented in the exhibition if an exhibitor opts for an exhibition booth layout with a separate closed-off area. This section must be visible and accessible only to healthcare professionals. Compliance with these laws and codes of conduct is the exhibitor’s responsibility.

Advertising therapeutic goods in Australia

IAS 2023, the 12th IAS Conference on HIV Science, takes place in Brisbane, Australia, and virtually, from 23 to 26 July 2023. For information on advertising therapeutic goods in Australia, applicable to IAS 2023, please view the following resources:

According to the Code of Conduct by Medicines Australia (2020):

  • Content that can be viewed by the general public should not advertise or include promotional claims for a prescription product.

  • Content that includes promotional claims for a prescription product must be restricted to a verified healthcare professional audience.

  • In the case of international or Australasian congresses held in Australia, it is acceptable to display or supply information regarding a product or an indication not approved for registration in Australia, provided any material used clearly states that it refers to a product or indication not approved in Australia and that the product or indication (as appropriate) is approved overseas.

  • All promotional claims about therapeutic goods listed in the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG) have to be consistent with the Consumer Medicines Information (CMI) and Product Information (PI) in the register.

Medicines Australia handles misconduct complaints about both its member and non-member companies. If a non-member company declines the invitation to have the complaint adjudicated by Medicines Australia, Medicines Australia may forward the complaint to the TGA or ACCC.

All products and services in Australia, including therapeutic goods, are also subject to the overarching Competition and Consumer Act 2010 enforced by the ACCC.

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The IAS promotes the use of non-stigmatizing, people-first language. The translations are all automated in the interest of making our content as widely accessible as possible. Regretfully, they may not always adhere to the people-first language of the original version.