Therapeutic products include medicinal products and medical devices. According to Art. 4 of the Therapeutic Products Act, medicinal products are products of chemical or biological origin which are intended or claimed to have a medicinal effect on the human or animal organism, in particular in the diagnosis, prevention or treatment of diseases, injuries and handicaps; blood and blood products are also considered to be medicinal products.
Medical devices include instruments, apparatus, equipment, in vitro diagnostics, software, implants, reagents, materials and other goods or substances which are intended or claimed to have a medical use and whose principal effect is not obtained with a medicinal product.
A distinction should be made in particular between therapeutic products and food and food supplements, cosmetic products, biocides, chemicals, etc. (non-exhaustive list).
A cross-agency Panel with experts from Swissmedic, the Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office (FSVO), the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH), the Association of Cantonal Pharmacists (KAV) and the Association of Swiss Cantonal Chemists (VKCS) meets regularly to discuss questions of delimitation and, accordingly, competencies: