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Come Clean, Minister

Come Clean, Minister

ACT New Zealand Health Spokesman Heather Roy today demanded that Health Minister Annette King come clean and tell the public just which option her Government will choose on Direct-To-Consumer-Advertising of pharmaceuticals – especially as everyone already knows the direction in which she is heading.

“Ms King has made it abundantly clear which direction she would prefer to take – I would not be surprised to soon see the Government ban DTCA as soon as it has the chance,” Mrs Roy said.

“Ms King has long adhered to the politically correct view that patients will put pressure on doctors to prescribe advertised medications – an argument that under-estimates doctors’ ability to make independent informed decisions about treatment.

“Despite constantly devolving responsibility to District Health Boards and health professionals – and expecting them to take the blame when tragedy strikes – the Minister apparently has no faith in our doctors. She also over-estimates the influence that patients have over doctors.

“This is an insult to doctors and patients alike. Contrary to what the Minister might believe, the public is not so gullible as to be brainwashed by any and every pharmaceutical ad that might cross their TV screen. And – politically incorrect as it might be to say so – advertising has positive effects: it raises awareness of medical problems and conditions, and shows sufferers that there are options available.

“In short, the Minister seems to have faith in no one but herself and her Cabinet colleagues. Once again she is making a huge over-estimation – this time of herself. Banning DTCA is a violation of our rights that will result only in ignorance of medical issues and public harm,” Mrs Roy said.

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