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CAANZ Supports DTC Advertising

18 February 2003



The Communication Agencies Association of New Zealand (CAANZ) is frustrated at the attempts by a group of academic medical professors to secure a ban on the advertising of direct to consumer pharmaceuticals.

Executive Director, Lynne Clifton says that, "the question on whether there should be direct to consumer pharmaceutical advertising has been asked and answered. There was a full Ministry of Health review into this in February 2001. The decision was that there would not be a ban on direct to the consumer advertising."

Clifton also stated that just last year there was an independent review of advertising therapeutic products in Australia and New Zealand, conducted by Mike Codd who was head of the Prime Minister's Department during the Keating years and is currently chancellor of Wollongong University in New South Wales.

Codd was charged with investigating the New Zealand and Australian systems in order to harmonise codes, pre-vetting and complaints procedures. His report was a resounding endorsement of New Zealand's self-regulatory regime and a recommendation that Australia adopt a system modelled on ours.

Clifton says, "We believe that this latest research from the Christchurch School of Medicine is a highly emotive attempt to stir unfounded concerns. There is no empirical evidence either in New Zealand or internationally which would support such a ban - quite simply it comes down to a patient's rights to choose and to have access to information".


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