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Consumer ombudsman fines false pharmacy 100,000 euros

The ombudsman says a group called Suomen Apteekkiyhtiöt (Finnish Pharmacy Companies) violated a ban on misleading telemarketing.

Mies istuu tietokoneen äärellä headset-luurit päässään
The consumer ombudsman charges that the group violated a ban on misleading telemarketing. Image: Tuomas Hirvonen / Yle

The consumer ombudsman is demanding that a group called Suomen Apteekkiyhtiöt (Finnish Pharmacy Companies) be required to pay a 100,000-euro fine for violating a ban on misleading telemarketing.

The group, which is registered as an advertising agency, was told in 2017 it would have to pay the fine if it continued to practice misleading advertising.

In 2017, the consumer ombudsman forbade the firm from misleading consumers by using the term "pharmacy," "pharmacy companies," or any other term containing the word "pharmacy" in their telemarketing calls.

The ombudsman says that in 2019 the company also gave the false impression via telemarketing that it is an authorised pharmacy in the vitamin sales market, even though the company does not hold a pharmaceutical license. As such, the ombudsman is demanding a new ban that should be enforced with the threat of a 150,000-euro penalty payment if broken.

Pharmaceutical licenses in Finland are granted by Fimea, the Finnish Medicines Agency.

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