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Friday, December 7, 2007

European Commission pro Direct to Consumer Advertising for Drugs

The European Commission is regularly accused of favoring large drug companies in new legislation for allowance of direct to consumer advertising of drugs.

In a previous post on this blog the disadvantages of direct to consumer advertising are summarized:
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.

Pharmalot has a follow-up on this issue between the European Commission and

Four groups representing complementary health insurers, independent medical bulletins and patient advocates have issued a joint press release claiming: “The European Commission is supportive of the industry’s moves: its ‘consultations’ are little more than an attempt to sway public opinion.”

Apparently there was a recent press release
The press release was issued on Wednesday by the International Society of Drug Bulletins (ISDB), the Medicines in Europe Forum, Health Action International (HAI) and the Association internationale de la mutualit√© (AIM) and charge that the EC is trying to overlook the “underlying risks to health” and ignore “the likely impact on the financial sustainability of Member states’ public health systems.”

Go read the post on Pharmalot

I am not supporting direct to consumer advertising of drug for reasons given at the beginning of this post.

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