A group of deputies of the Russian State Duma led by Vladimir Zhirinovsky proposed to introduce a rule preventing the advertising of medicinal products in television and radio programs.
The authors of the bill explained their initiative by the fact that, after listening to such ads, consumers are buying the promoted drugs for self-treatment instead of visiting a doctor and getting qualified medical advice. According to the deputies, more than 60 thousand Russians die each year as a result of self-treatment after uncontrolled administration of advertised drugs.
They also noted that such ban already exists in many foreign countries. For example, all EU countries prohibit any advertising of OTC drugs, while Canada does not allow the advertising of drugs on radio and television. The deputies added however that the proposed ban would not restrict the right of consumers to receive information on medicines available for sale, as these details can be obtained from other media and online.