EC to ease prescription drug ad rules

Pharmaceuticals giants including GlaxoSmithKline, Eli Lilly,

Novartis and Astra Zeneca are likely to get the green light to advertise

dozens of prescription drug brands under a relaxation of European

Commission rules being announced this week.



Led by Erkki Liikanen, the Finnish commissioner responsible for the

Directorate General for Enterprise, the EC is tabling a proposal that

would permit drugs firms to promote medications for AIDS, diabetes and

bronchio-pulmonary ailments through their web sites.



It will allow some direct-to-consumer advertising for the drugs for a

five-year trial period under as yet undefined restrictions.



If adopted by member states - a process that could take several years -

the plan would contain some form of opt-in, so that firms could not

distribute unsolicited product information to consumers.



The EC and the pharmaceutical industry emphasised that the decision

would not lead to mass direct-to-consumer US-style advertising.



Richard Ley, a spokesman for the Association of the British

Pharmaceutical Industry, said the group welcomed the shift, but added

that it would have little effect in the UK, where pharmaceutical

companies have more leverage than in much of Europe. "We are the prime

source for information about medicines. We've spent ten to 12 years

developing them," he said.



Brands affected would include diabetes drugs such as Novartis' Starlyx,

asthma brands such as Astra Zeneca's Oxix, and anti-AIDS drugs such as

GSK's Retrovir.



Feature, page 29.



Discussion

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now

Latest

Oasis #springasmile digital campaign gets people doing good deeds
Coca-Cola: 'Don't approach bloggers with a fait accompli'
Tesco CMO Matt Atkinson: 'It is so important not to stereotype mothers'
McDonald's gives Ronald a new look ahead of global 'Fun times' social media push
In pictures: BrewDog opens first craft beer shop BottleDog for 'beer aficionados'
Facebook ad revenue leaps $1bn as it invests in targeting
Malteser or Maltesers? Mars takes Hershey trademark dispute to court
Apple Q2 profits top $10bn as iPhone sales soar
Lynx tells men not to leave love to fate
HBO captures awkwardness of watching sex scenes with parents
Primark to open first US stores with Boston chosen as flagship location
Marketing spend on the up but a reality check is needed before celebrating
Top 10 ads of the week: Jackpotjoy and BT Broadband fend off Kevin Bacon
Lidl beats Tesco to 10m Facebook fans
Center Parcs ad banned for encouraging parents to take kids out of school
Coca-Cola, Cadbury and Amazon named top brands for targeting youth market
Leaked document shows Nokia to be rebranded as Microsoft Mobile
Nike lays-off hardware staff in move that casts doubt on future of FuelBand
Greenpeace says save the bees or humans will die
What brands need to know about changes to VAT and online downloads in 2015
Jimmy Savile victims urged to claim compensation in new ad campaign
UKIP launches biggest  ad campaign and stirs up 'racist' accusations
Apple boss Tim Cook provides voiceover on ad touting firm's renewed green commitments
John Lewis walks consumers through its history to celebrate 150 years of business
Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up
Hottest virals: Cute puppies star in Pedigree ad, plus Idris Elba and Fruyo
Amnesty International burns candles to illuminate new hope
Tom of Finland's 'homoerotic' drawings made into stamps
Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers
YouTube reveals user habits to appeal to 'older' marketers