Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Stop direct advertising of prescription drugs now

Stop direct advertising of prescription drugs now - Greens

Direct advertising of prescription drugs to consumers should be banned immediately, Green Party Health Spokesperson Sue Kedgley says.

The Government this morning released a discussion paper on the issue and is calling for submissions from industry and the public.

New Zealand and the United States are the only two countries in the world which allow direct to consumer advertising of prescription drugs.

"The Government has been dithering on this issue for years. Way back in 2001 the Minister of Health promised to tighten controls on directly advertising medicines to consumers, and this had not happened.

"It is clear that self-regulation by the pharmaceutical industry has been a spectacular failure. Direct to consumer advertisements are generally emotive, manipulative, short on detail and breach regulatory requirements to inform consumers of the risks and adverse effects of medicines, and other options for treating disease," Ms Kedgley says.

"We don't need yet another review or a prolonged process of discussion. There is already overwhelming evidence from research that has been undertaken on the issue that the only people who benefit from direct advertising are the pharmaceutical companies who use it to put pressure on Pharmac to subsidise new, expensive medicines, and to drive up demand for their products.

"It is time for the Government to stop dragging its feet, and finally acknowledge that our controversial experiment with allowing drugs to be directly advertised to consumers has been a failure.

"I believe the only reason the Government has allowed direct advertising to continue for so long is because of pressure from pharmaceutical and advertising industries," Ms Kedgley says.

"As well as the fact that prescription medicines, when taken inappropriately, can cause severe illness and even death, it as also astonishing the Government allows a practice that drives up Government spending on pharmaceuticals when we are having to ration cancer treatment and very sick people are on long waiting lists.

"I am calling on the Government to ban this dangerous practice immediately, and to instead set up an independent medicine and health information service that is free of commercial interests," Ms Kedgley says.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>


Corrections Corrected: Supreme Court Rules On Release Dates

Corrections has always followed the lawful rulings of the Court in its calculation of sentence release dates. On four previous occasions, the Court of Appeal had upheld Corrections’ practices in calculating pre-sentence detention. More>>


Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>


General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>


Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news