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Canadian regulators dismiss complaint about campaign publicising low testosterone

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d5501 (Published 31 August 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d5501
  1. Barbara Kermode-Scott
  1. 1Vancouver

Canada’s regulator of drug advertising and its national health department have dismissed a complaint from a group of doctors, pharmacists, and researchers about a consumer advertising campaign about testosterone deficiency, which they claim was “disease mongering.”

The Pharmaceutical Advertising Advisory Board and Health Canada were responding to a complaint about advertisements that appeared in Canada’s national newspaper the Globe and Mail between 6 June and 2 July this year. Health Canada’s response to the formal complaint said, “It is the department’s view that this particular campaign is not promotional material in disguise.”

Abbott Laboratories ran a “help seeking message directed to consumers” asking, “Has he lost that loving feeling?” The newspaper advertisement mentioned other symptoms—such as lack of energy and low sex drive—of low testosterone (“low T”) and …

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