Advertising for health and profit

11 June 2004 00:16:00

Health

"If it’s not broken don’t try to fix it," says Libertarianz spokesman for Health Deregulation Dr. Richard Goode today. His comments come in response to recent indications that the government is moving to ban direct-to-consumer advertising of "prescription" drugs.

"New Zealand and the United States lead the world in allowing pharmaceutical companies to advertise drugs such as sildenafil (Viagra) and orlistat (Xenical) on television," notes Goode. "Let’s not mess with success."

"Direct-to-consumer advertising benefits both drug companies and consumers. Drug companies – who invest millions of dollars to develop new and better drugs – profit through increased sales, and consumers benefit through greater awareness of medical conditions and available treatment options, better treatment options and lower drug prices. We’ve got a good thing going – why change it?"

"Health Minister Annette King is wrong in thinking that medical practitioners are so easily pressured that they must be protected from the as-seen-on-TV persuasive powers of pushy patients," says Goode. "But, if she’s right, Libertarianz have the answer – lifting the moratorium on direct-to-consumer drug sales."

"The current prohibition of direct-to-consumer drug sales is an insult to the intelligence of consumers, who must pay a government approved medical practitioner for a permission slip (euphemistically termed a "prescription") to purchase anything more exotic than an aspirin," laments Goode. "Since ultimate responsibility for health choices rests with consumers, we must allow the purchase of both pharmaceuticals and medical advice in a free market."

It’s enough to make you vote Libertarianz.

Dr. Richard Goode
021340057

Libertarianz: More Freedom – Less Government
www.libertarianz.org.nz