Pharmaceutical study prompts call for ad ban
ABC News Online
July 17, 2005
The authors of research into pharmaceutical marketing have called for a ban on drug company ads being inserted in doctors' prescribing software.
A paper released in today's Medical Journal of Australia has raised concerns that the pharmaceutical industry spends up to three times as much on marketing as it does on research and development.
The president of the Doctors' Reform Society, Dr Tim Woodruff, says the research reveals the pharmaceutical industry is consistently breaking its own code of conduct on marketing.
Dr Woodruff says too many doctors are prescribing new and expensive drugs when cheaper alternatives are available, and this fuels the cost blow-out in the Pharmaceutical benefits Scheme.
"Confronting every doctor when they're writing their prescription, they now have advertisements for various drugs," he said.
"And the drug companies are not going to be doing this unless they think that it's going to influence the prescribing behaviour of doctors.
"Doctors then tend to prescribe the most expensive, newest drugs."