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Healthy Skepticism Library item: 609

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: Journal Article

Lexchin J.
Direct to consumer advertising of prescription drugs: the next steps
Can J Clin Pharmacol 1996; 3:(2):65


If direct to consumer advertising of prescription drugs comes to Canada there are a number of controls that need to be put into place: advertising material must be precleared; DTCA has to present a balanced picture of the risk/benefit ratio of treatments; DTCA should not be allowed until postmarketing studies have been completed in order to detect rare side effects; and DTCA should show consumers how the product compares with other treatment modalities. Violations of any marketing code for DTCA should include an escalating pyramid of sanctions. The effects of DTCA on prescribing behaviour, drug use and health of patients will need to be evaluated.

*analysis Canada DTCA direct-to-consumer advertising enforcement pyramid preclearance of advertisements regulation of promotion PROMOTIONAL TECHNIQUES: DIRECT-TO-CONSUMER ADVERTISING REGULATION, CODES, GUIDELINES: COMPLIANCE, SANCTIONS, STANDARDS


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Email a Friend influence multinational corporations effectively, the efforts of governments will have to be complemented by others, notably the many voluntary organisations that have shown they can effectively represent society’s public-health interests…
A small group known as Healthy Skepticism; formerly the Medical Lobby for Appropriate Marketing) has consistently and insistently drawn the attention of producers to promotional malpractice, calling for (and often securing) correction. These organisations [Healthy Skepticism, Médecins Sans Frontières and Health Action International] are small, but they are capable; they bear malice towards no one, and they are inscrutably honest. If industry is indeed persuaded to face up to its social responsibilities in the coming years it may well be because of these associations and others like them.
- Dukes MN. Accountability of the pharmaceutical industry. Lancet. 2002 Nov 23; 360(9346)1682-4.