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Regulator spells out rules on disease awareness campaigns

BMJ 2003; 326 doi: (Published 29 May 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;326:1219
  1. Trevor Jackson (
  1. BMJ

    What do drug companies do when the law prevents them from advertising prescription only medicines directly to the public? One answer might be that they instead advertise the disease, be it incontinence, impotence, or fungal nail infections.

    While on the surface disease awareness campaigns (DACs), as they are known, appear to do no more than provide quality information to patients and public alike, concerns have been growing that the boundary between education and drug promotion has been getting increasingly blurred. Have DACs, which in themselves are not especially new, become one more step towards direct to consumer advertising of medicines?

    Last month the Medicines and Health-care products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) issued guidelines on what drug companies can and cannot say …

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