Intended for healthcare professionals


Canadian media company demands right to publish direct to consumer drug advertising

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: (Published 08 May 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b1912
  1. Ray Moynihan
  1. 1Byron Bay, Australia

    A long legal battle over advertising drugs directly to consumers is drawing to a close in Canada’s Superior Court.

    The Canadian media giant Canwest is suing the federal government, claiming that the prohibition on advertising prescription drugs directly to the public is a contravention of the constitutional charter guaranteeing free speech.

    In a document tendered to the court Canwest’s legal team has described the prohibitions as “paternalistic and anachronistic.” It argues that “truthful, balanced and fair statements containing information that is useful to patients cannot be curtailed” under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

    The summary of the media company’s position, given in a 67 …

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