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Letters Patient information on drugs

Is patient information on prescribed drugs just another form of advertising?

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 02 August 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d4899
  1. Barbara Mintzes, assistant professor1
  1. 1Department of Anesthesiology, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z3
  1. barbara.mintzes{at}

Having followed the heated debate on proposed changes to European drug advertising legislation, I cannot help but notice a familiar ring to Shaw’s endorsement of the European Union’s patient information initiative, including her many uses of the words information, factual, and regulated, but infrequent mention of “advertising.”1

The initiative’s provisions to make approved patient leaflets, monographs, and European public assessment reports more accessible are uncontroversial; easier access is …

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