A draft law on banning the advertising of medicines in television programs was submitted to Russian State Duma. “The bill proposes to ban the advertising of medicines in TV broadcasts and programs,” said the corresponding explanatory note.
According to State Duma deputies, the motives of advertisers are usually far removed from genuine concern about the patient health.
“The companies are interested in advertising newly developed expensive medicines in TV broadcasts and programs,” they said. “The growth of antidepressant market is entirely based on TV advertising, since people, who use these drugs, have increased suggestibility because of their depressive psychological states.
“TV advertising of medicines encourages viewers to substitute the advice of health care professionals and thereby encourages viewers to purchase these drugs, which stimulates self-treatment and offers to consumers “simple” products against hypertension, high cholesterol level, obesity, etc.,” claimed the deputies. Moreover, “foreign pharmaceutical companies may be directly interested in expanding their advertising budgets regardless of benefits to the patients, because the tax laws allow to deduct advertising costs from taxable base,” said the authors of draft law.
“The advertising that personally targets an unlimited number of TV viewers does not consider individual health characteristics, indications and contraindications in a particular consumer for specific medicines requiring a prescription,” noted the accompanying materials.