Home Conferences Contact Us Continuing Education Jobs Weekly News Archives Readership Profile

Monthly News Archives Pharmacy Awards Search Site Search Magazine Archives Submit a Classified Advertisement



September 2001 issue Pharmacy Today magazine


Researched-based pharmaceutical companies breathed a sigh of relief with the news Direct-to-Consumer Advertising (DTCA) will remain largely intact.

Health Minister Annette King says pharmaceutical companies will be reigned in with tighter controls, but the principle of industry self-regulation will continue.


The Researched Medicines Industry chairman Richard Nottage says the sector is "relieved and gratified" DTC has been allowed to continue.

Companies are heavily reliant on the tightly contained subsidised drug budget and sales growth for the sector has been sluggish, he says. DTCA gives companies some scope to increase business to a healthy level.

The Ministry of Health's review says there is little evidence to prove DTCA causes either potential health benefits or harm.

However, Annette King says there is some evidence DTCA increases doctor visits and prescriptions.

Pharmac chief executive Wayne McNee was unavailable for comment but a three-sentence press release from the agency supports the review's outcome.


In its submission to the Ministry of Health last year, Pharmac voiced concerns that DTCA encourages demand on subsidised pharmaceuticals, increases an unnecessary reliance on pharmaceuticals among New Zealanders and damages the patient/doctor relationship.

The ministry's recommended changes include:

  • Allowing only print and broadcast advertising, while banning direct promotions to individual patients, running competitions or paying for doctor visits.
  • Banning sponsorship of events using the drug brand names.
  • Banning brand names on vehicles.
  • Specify the amount of mandatory risk information in advertisements.
  • Fines could be increased for breaching regulations.

Advertising rule changes will be worked out over the next year, involving consultation with key interest groups.

Merck Sharp and Dohme, sponsor of the Propecia Rally of New Zealand, welcomes the review's recommendation.

Company spokesman Phil Johnstone says: "We're pleased the principle of self-regulation remains but we'd like to see product sponsorship stay with perhaps a high quality threshold for sponsorship rather than simply banning them."


Complete this month's questionnaire to qualify for extra Continuing Education credits. Click here
For the answers to last month's quiz click here.


Click here to find out who the winners are for the Pharmacy Today/Zuellig Pharma Pharmacy Awards 2002. Also view and purchase photos of the Awards.


For the leading stories in our latest issue of Pharmacy Today magazine visit our welcome page.


To subscribe to Pharmacy Today, or to purchase The Beauty Manual or The Pharmacy Healthcare Handbook click here.

Job vacancies, items for sale, business opportunities and more.
Updated weekly.
click here.

Consumer Health Information

New Zealand Doctor Online