The Green Party plans to table an amendment to the Therapeutic Products Bill to ban direct to consumer advertising for prescription medicines.
“It’s so important that we protect communities against the exploitative advertising strategies of big pharmaceutical companies. We urge political parties across the board to support our amendment. People’s wellbeing should not suffer because of politics,” says Green Party health spokesperson Ricardo Menendez March.
“New Zealand is an outlier when it comes to protecting healthcare workers and patients from aggressive pharmaceutical advertisement.
“Countless medical experts have called for a ban on direct advertisement of prescription medicines.
“This is because of the burden it places on general practitioners alongside concerns that advertisements are designed to persuade patients to use a product, rather than providing reliable and neutral information about benefits and risks. .
“We support the open letter sent to the Minister of Health calling for a ban, whose signatories include Sir Ashley Bloomfield, former PM Helen Clark, Professor Papaarangi Reid, Rob Campbell, Consumer NZ, all 17 New Zealand medical colleges, alongside many other experts.
“The Green Party will continue fighting for improved access to healthcare services, for patients to be given access to the tools they need to make decisions that are right for their health, and for our practitioners to be resourced to serve their communities,” says Ricardo Menendez March.