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Healthy Skepticism Library item: 14823

Warning: This library includes all items relevant to health product marketing that we are aware of regardless of quality. Often we do not agree with all or part of the contents.


Publication type: report

ISDB Statement on Direct-To-Consumer-Advertising (DTCA)
2008 Dec 19


The International Society of Drug Bulletins (ISDB), which just held its
General Assembly in Matagalpa (Nicaragua), is deeply concerned about the
legislative proposal on patient information that was finally adopted on 10
December 2008 by the European Commission, as part of the pharmaceutical
package. The new directive opens, in fact, the door to direct-to-consumer
promotion of prescription medicines by pharmaceutical companies (1).

Pharmaceutical companies direct-to-consumer communication on prescription
medicines would have negative consequences for public health (i.e. exposure
to disguised advertising promoting irrational use, more adverse drug
reactions and interactions with other treatments), and the additional costs
for the patients and the health systems would be enormous, without any
foreseeable benefits.

Article 86 and 88 (Directive 2001/83/EC modified by Directive 2004/27/EC),
relative to information provisions and the prohibition of prescription drug
advertising to the public, should be left intact and rigorously enforced.
The proposed Article 100 opens the door to direct-to-consumer advertising
(DTCA), even if presented as direct-to-consumer information (DTCI).

The potential for harm is not only within the European Union, but also
internationally. It creates a negative precedent globally that will
adversely affect countries with limited regulatory capacities, and it will
put additional strain on the limited health resources.

In order to put public health first, the proposal on patient information
should be completely rejected by the European Parliament.

1- The legislative proposal on patient-information can be found at:

ISDB. International Society of Drug Bulletins (ISDB), founded in 1986, is a
world wide Network of bulletins and journals on drugs and therapeutics that
are financially and intellectually independent of pharmaceutical industry.
Currently, their members include 57 members in 35 countries around the
world. More info: Contact: Jorg Schaaber (ISDB President) and Florence Vandevelde (ISDB Secretary)


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