2006-02-26

Drug advertising opposed

A Health Council Canada report called Direct-to-Consumer Advertising of Prescription Drugs in Canada: What are the Public Health Implications? details research on pharmamarketing and its impact on health care.

In Canada only two forms of advertising are permitted, through a loophole: educational or "help-seeking" ads, and simple logo branding in "reminder" ads. Even that, concludes UBC's Barbara Mintzes, should be curtailed and instead "Canadians need independent, publicly financed information and education on drugs and other treatments."

Bob Nakagawa of the Health Council says drug advertising can cause "avoidable harm by stimulating unnecessary and inappropriate medicine use while often failing to provide balanced appraisals of the medicine's value," which influenced the Council's position in their recent recommendations.

No official response yet from the new government.

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