Korean Court Rules Against Korean Medical Advertisement Laws

As of December 26, 2015, the Korean Constitutional Court (as the highest court in Korea) has declared unconstitutional provisions of the Korean medical advertisement regulation policy. The court issued two rulings on provisions falling under the Medical Services Act.

The Court first struck down both the policies requiring prior review and clearance for all medical advertisements and the policies threatening criminal punishment upon those who did not comply with the prior review policy. However, in its second ruling, the court upheld the provision for criminal sanctions in the case of false medical advertising.

This executive ruling by the Korean Constitutional Court is significant as it not only marks the end of censorship within the medical services advertisement community, but also it could have extensive implications for other acts such as the Pharmaceutical Affairs Act and Medical Devices Act, both of which currently require some form of prescreening and authorization for advertisements.