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Saturday, July 7, 2007

Direct To Consumer Advertising of prescription drugs, a threat to Europe?

drug advertising
The European Committee supports the request of the pharmaceutical companies for "direct-to-consumer-advertising". The International Society of Drug Bulletins warns against this legislation. It is wrong to confuse information with advertising.
The dangers of "direct-to-consumer-advertising" are:
1. advertisements from drug companies are mostly limited to those drugs with the highest profit
2. efficacy is often exaggerated
3. risks are usually obscured
4. it confuses patients when suggested another drug by their physicians
5. it forces physicians to use the advertised drug
6. advertisements by drug companies lack comparison with drugs from other companies or other treatments, making it hard for consumers to compare different drugs or other treatment options

Another objection is the impartiality of the Pharmaceutical Forum preparing this proposal. This is done by the Pharmaceutical Forum. This forum is not elected and not less than 5 drug companies are part of this forum. Moreover the patients are represented by The European Patients' Forum sponsored by the Drug Companies.
There are only two countries allowing "direct-to-consumer-advertising": USA and New Zealand.

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