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[e-drug] Medicines advertising on TV
E-drug: Medicines advertising on TV
I have been supervising a group of pharmacy students looking at the extent
of medicines advertising in New Zealand. Do any e-druggers know of
comparable data from other countries?
The students watched 313.5 hours of video-taped television, including all
days of the week, and all five free-to-air national TV channels.
We defined medicines as products whose primary purpose is therapeutic. These
included products for weight loss, and products taken internally for
We found 155 advertisements in the 313.5 hours of TV coverage, ie an average
of about 1 medicine advertisement every two hours.
Unlike other developed countries (except the USA) prescription medicines
are advertised direct to the consumer in New Zealand. We found 24
advertisements for prescription medicines. These included omeprazole,
finasteride, sildenafil, rofecoxib , orlistat and bupropion hydrochloride.
Prescriptions for omeprazole are fully subsidised by the government.
Prescriptions for the other products are not subsidised.
New Zealand, like Australia, has a category of medicines available only
from a pharmacist. This includes low-dose diclofenac, vaginal anti-fungals
and other products. We found 6 advertisements for medicines in this category.
We found 42 advertisements for pharmacy-only medicines, 42
advertisements for products available for general sale (ie available in
supermarkets, petrol stations etc), 5 advertisements for alternative or
complementary medicines, and 36 advertisements for dietary supplements.
Advertisements were more frequently shown between 2:00 and 3:30pm, and
6:30 and 8:00pm than in other times of the day. Between 6:30 and 8:00pm
there was almost one medicine advertisement per hour.
The study is on-going, and we plan to do more analysis of the content of
We would be happy to provide further details about the study to anyone who
Pauline Norris, PhD
School of Pharmacy
University of Otago
PO Box 913
Ph (03) 479 7359
Fax (03) 479 7034
Cell-phone 025 80 95 95
pauline norris <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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