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| 1 minute read

DreamJuice - medicine or health product?

Do you suffer from insomnia? DreamJuice is the solution according to the website; no more need for medications against sleep deprivation. According to the Chairman of the Advertising Code Committee the advertisement violates the Medicines Act and the Advertising Code for Health Products. However, both cannot be at issue at the same time; it is one or the other.

Those who often sleep poorly may have heard of DreamJuice; the website www.dromenwinkel/com reports that DreamJuice can put an end to insomnia. Medications can be addictive and DreamJuice is a sensible alternative, it says.

The complainant believes that DreamJuice is presented here as a drug, so that the Medicines Act applies. The President follows that line. DreamJuice does not have a drug license, so the advertising violates the law.

The complaint has a second component: violation of the Health Products Advertising Code: because for health products you are not allowed to make medicinal allusions in advertising.

The President grants both complaints: violation of the rules for medicines (Medicines Act) and violation of the rules for health products.

Well. Legally, this is impossible. A product, in terms of its legal status, is either a drug or a health product. They don't go together; it's one or the other.

In my opinion, the correct course of action would have been: the product is a foodstuff. In advertising a food product, medical terms should not appear. Then there is a violation of the European VIC VO 1169/2011 (Article 7 Food Information Regulation). And something similar in self-regulation: violation of the prohibition on using medical claims for a health product.

This case is reminiscent of the principled proceedings pending over the use of prohibited medical claims in food supplements. The NVWA has so far (still) used what I believe to be the incorrect reasoning that use of a medical claim would cause the foodstuff to be a medicine (by commendation). After the Court of Justice nasal spray judgment and the Super Nature Products case, this can no longer be sustained. We wrote about this in previous newsletters. We expect the Council of State to rule this year. And other directional decisions may follow soon. The law is on the move. Gone are sleepless nights, welcome invigorating futures.


food law, advertising law