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Clinical Pharmacologists Back Drug Advert Ban

Clinical Pharmacologists Back Drug Advert Ban

We strongly endorse the proposal for a DTCA ban and the establishment of an independent consumer drug information service. Clinical Pharmacologists are specialists in the science, evaluation and appropriate utilisation of drugs.

We are concerned that New Zealand consumers have not been adequately informed of the limitations, inappropriateness and commercial bias inherent in most direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA). There is good evidence that DTCA is counterproductive as it provides selective information for consumers and so reduces the effectiveness of prescribers to ensure that their patients are appropriately informed.

Our group is particularly concerned about the monitoring of DTCA, as many of the claims are gross exaggerations.

There is a universal recognition of the need for high quality medicines information for both health professionals and consumers. We believe this should be provided independently from the drug manufacturers. The information should be scientifically valid, up-to-date, reasonably comprehensive and readily understandable. Safety information is essential, but frequently underplayed in DTCA.

DTCA is only permitted in two countries, the USA and NZ. Other countries do not see it as appropriate. It is time for the public of NZ to have access to unbiased drug information.

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