Ask Your EU Doctors About

Flattr this!

No this is not a spam post.

While in the United States I usually watch a bit of television and I definitely spend time listening to the radio.  One thing you’ll have no problem encountering on both of these mediums: ads that include the phrase “ASk Your Doctor About…” and then some perscription drug to help some ailment.  Apparently the public should then go to their doctors and tell THEM what drugs they want.

In the European Union this practice has long been banned. No ads with senior citizens strolling on the beach recommending that you ask your doctor about some brilliant new drug.

However, this October the EU will roll out new pharmaceutical policies that are intended to, in their words, “Modernize” the rules for the pharma industry.  One of the provisions they’re putting forward will allow the pharma industry to provide “additional information” to the public via the media.  Which of course would make it possible for some sort of television ad within Europe that presents viewers with what the industry seems additional info, whatever that means in the end.

Various medical organizations throughout Europe as well as Ministries of Health, are sounding the alarms, concerned that this is one step towards the US style onsluaght of ads suggestion you need to ask your doctor about this and that drug in order to happily walk through the forest.  The industry, meanwhile, insists that they would have no interest in that type of information campaign, and would instead want this to free them up for internet based info that people can request, rather than have it pushed on them.  Meanwhile, advocates of the changes insist that there are many other useful policies included in the package, and that there would be some oversight as to what would be deemed suitable additional information.

This change sounds like the first of many on the road towards a US style system where pharmaceutical companies treat people more like customers than patients. Beyond that, makes medicine ever more like a business than a service. Is it too late to stop them? I will try to find out.

Comments are closed.