MEPs against drug advertising
Strasbourg – For two years, consumer organisations and members of the European Parliament have pressed not to allow pharmaceutical companies to provide information on their prescription medicines directly to consumers as proposed in the European Commission’s pharmaceutical package. Two months before the European Parliament is to decide on the legislation, its Committee for Public Health has tabled a compromise. It allows the industry to distribute non-promotional information about their drugs via the Internet and in printed form after regulatory authorities have checked the information for drug advertising. The MEPs have made it clear they will not accept TV or radio spots. They also requested the addition of a “drug-facts-box” in package inserts that provide a simple presentation of a drug’s characteristics and adverse effects. The proposal was welcomed by consumer groups and the pharma lobby organisation EFPIA.