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French drug advertising

15th February 2007

Attempts to undermine the drugs advertising ban across Europe have failed in France.

internetdrugs1 

Patient compliance support programmes are intended to increase compliance in drug use, and reduce complications, by using methods such as telephone reminders, personalised information, and even home visits from nurses, say drug companies who have campaigned to make them legal. 

However a recently formed advocacy group, made up of patients and healthcare professionals has successfully lobbied French politicians, arguing that compliance programmes are little more than covert marketing strategies, designed to build brand loyalty to particular drugs, and are an attempt by the pharmaceutical industry to introduce direct patient advertising by the back door. 

Direct advertising of drugs to patients, seen extensively in the US, is currently banned across Europe.  Despite this recent victory to protect the ban, it will be debated in the French parliament later this year.

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