Pharmaceutical Companies Propose "Drug TV" Channel

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Amid strenuous lobbying across Europe to end restrictions on direct-to-consumer drug advertising, four pharmaceutical companies are considering launching their own television station. Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Novartis and Procter & Gamble envision "Pharma TV" as "a dedicated interactive digital channel funded by the industry with health news and features. "

With less regulation in America, why haven't they proposed their own channel here? Ponder that while you wait in line for your medication for restless leg syndrome, chronic fatigue, fingernail fungus, erectile disfunction and dry eyes.

The companies are calling it the "European Patient Information Channel," and say its "on demand" drug information would "enable patients and citizens to make better decisions." The pharmaceutical industry wants direct access to European patients, and is backed "by a number of influential patient groups that are themselves heavily funded by drug companies."

Independent groups under the International Society of Drug Bulletins warn that industry messages tend to focus on "relatively few top sellers, exaggerating effects and concealing risks, confusing patients and putting pressure on doctors to prescribe drugs they would not use otherwise."




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