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GPs welcome DTC advertising review

Monday, October 9, 2000

For immediate release

Dr Helen Rodenburg Deputy Chairperson

GPs welcome DTC advertising review

General Practitioners have welcomed the Minister of Health’s decision to review direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising.

Royal NZ College of General Practitioners’ Deputy Chairperson Dr Helen Rodenburg says DTC advertising can be positive, in that it empowers patients with information “and that certainly reflects the nature of General Practice today – a partnership between doctor, other health professionals, and the patient.

“But problems arise when the advertising encourages patients to seek medicines which they do not need or which are unsuitable for their particular situation for a particular reason, such as their potential to interact with other medications the patient is already on,” Dr Rodenburg explained.

“While GPs aren’t being pressured into prescribing inappropriately because of DTC advertising, demands from a patient for drugs which are unsuitable can not only damage the doctor-patient relationship, but also detract from the care a GP is able to give. If half the consultation is spent discussing with a patient why the latest ‘as seen on TV’ product isn’t for them, then there’s less time to discuss strategies and explain medications which will be beneficial.”

The College intends to make submissions on the matter to the Minister once the discussion document is released next month.

ends

Contact: Dr Helen Rodenburg (04) 383-6972 or (021) 650-203 or: Rex Widerstrom (04) 496-5962 or (025) 549-637

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