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“Direct to consumer” advertising of drugs in Canada could add £550m to healthcare costs

BMJ 2003; 327 doi: (Published 11 September 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:582
  1. Spurgeon David
  1. Quebec

    If “direct to consumer” drug advertising were allowed in Canada, spending on pharmaceutical drugs would increase substantially, and most of the spending would come out of the public purse, an editorial in the current edition of the Canadian Medical Association's journal says (CMAJ 2003;169:381). The editorial estimates that the increase could be as much as $C1.2bn (£550m; $US880m; €790m).

    The journal also includes a research report on the effects of such advertising on prescribing decisions. The researchers, led by Dr Barbara Mintzes, from the centre for health services and policy research at the University of British Columbia, compared prescribing decisions in a US setting where direct to consumer advertising was legal and a Canadian setting …

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