E-Drug: DTCA in Europe? (2)
Howard Brody and I have a forthcoming article in the Am J of Public Health on
the "inverse benefit law" that shows wider marketing inevitably dilutes
benefits and increases harms from drugs promoted.
Thus European leaders are approving a measure for company-sponsored "education"
(marketing) that worsens public health and patient health, and increases health
care costs. See also The Risks of Prescription Drugs (Columbia Unv Press 2010)
on how they have become the 4th leading cause of death.
Donald W. Light
Lokey visiting professor, Stanford University
Visiting researcher, CMD, Princeton University
On Jan 12, 2011, at 10:19 AM, Sidney Wolfe wrote:
> E-Drug: DTCA in Europe?
> Dear Colleagues
> Below is an article from FDA WebView 1/11/11 (copied as fair use) about fears
> of DTCA coming to Europe.
> Sidney M. Wolfe MD
> Director, Health Research Group at Public Citizen
> 1600 20th St. NW
> Washington, DC 20009
> Phone: 202 588-7735
> FAX 202 588-7796
> e-mail: Swolfe@citizen.org
> Web sites: worstpills.org & citizen.org/hrg
> Could DTC Come to Europe?
> Fears are being expressed that some efforts by the European parliament to
> improve patient access to information on medicines could lead to
> direct-to-consumer advertising. A 1/7 report on PharmTech.com says that
> patient demand for increased access to information on medicines looks likely
> to result in drug companies being permitted to directly communicate with
> patients. However, it says, it is difficult to see DTC advertising evolving
> into the advertising style typified by the U.S. market, particularly as the
> European drug industry has been careful to distance itself from such an
> “The culture and market conditions in Europe remain very different to those
> in the U.S. and so it is unlikely that DTC advertising would ever have a
> receptive audience,” it concludes.
> The report reviews the history of drug DTC advertising in the U.S. and the
> arguments that have been advanced for and against it.
> In Europe, it says, companies have not advocated DTC advertising outright,
> but have said that in a regulated environment there should be some means for
> them to communicate directly with patients regarding their medicines.
> The author says it is somewhat surprising that DTC proposals continue to be
> debated in the European parliament given that the companies are not
> advocating for them. One reason, he suggests, is that ideas around DTC have
> not been raised in isolation but rather make up the “pharmaceutical package”
> being discussed at the EU level, including measures for tackling counterfeit
> medicines and improving pharmacovigilance.
> URL of the above report:
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