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Attempt to undermine European ban on advertising drugs fails in France

BMJ 2007; 334 doi: (Published 08 February 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;334:279
  1. Ray Moynihan
  1. 1Byron Bay, Australia

    A controversial proposal to have drug companies' “patient compliance” programmes declared legal in France has failed.

    Critics described the proposal as a backdoor attempt to introduce into France direct to consumer drug advertising, which is currently banned throughout Europe.

    Compliance support programmes organised by drug companies can include telephone reminders to consumers, personalised information for patients, and even home visits from nurses. The drug industry defends public health programmes as valuable for boosting adherence to treatment; others argue the programmes are Big Brother-style marketing strategies intended to boost profits.

    A recently formed advocacy group called the Medicines in Europe Forum, which comprises patients, professionals, and others, successfully …

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