In Australia we do not allow direct to consumer advertising of pharmaceutical drugs. It is OK in the USA and I believe also in NZ for the Pharmaceutical Companies to advertise their drugs on television and possibly also in theatres. Australia has thank goodness so far resisted this temptation.
Back in June this year an Adelaide (South Australia) newspaper reminded us that it is not considered in the best interest of either the patient or the doctor for Big Pharmaceutical Companies to blatantly advertise their drugs direct to the public. In Fact it is against the law.
Of course as with all laws made there seem to be backdoors which have been left open, loopholes to be exploited!. That being said attempts are made by the Pharmaceutical Companies to by-pass the legal system and get away with their advertising campaigns.
The current case in point relates to AstraZeneca’s media blitz (http://www.clearoutcholesterol.com.au/) attempting to terrorize patients who have made an informed decision to stop taking the cholesterol lowering medications commonly known as STATINS.
These advertisements are being shown on prime time television and all (?) YouTube’s viewed by Australians currently.
Does the advertisement tell you to take their particular brand of STATINS? No it does not. What it does do is attempt to intimidate and scare patients into asking their doctors IF what they have done, by stopping their anti-cholesterol medication will actually cause them to suffer a heart attack and perhaps die, causing terrible grief to the family who will be left behind. There is strong intimation in the advertisement that STATINS will decrease the amount of plaque in arteries, thereby saving your life!
In actual fact very recently there was a paper published stating quite clearly, and in direct opposition to what this drug company advertisement is intimating – that STATINS can actually cause plaque and arterial calcification.
AstraZeneca manufacture and distribute in Australia CRESTOR, one of the newer and more potent cholesterol lowering drugs, which has many ugly side effects.
Memory recall issues are known side effects of CRESTOR, but that is not the only problem.
Doc Graveline has a page dedicated to this drug and its side effects. He says:
The release of Crestor, the newest of the statin drugs, was associated almost immediately with a need for a revised package insert because of a rash of adverse drug reports of muscle and renal toxicity. What else could you expect from Astra-Zeneca’s rosuvastatin, promoted as the most powerful of the powerful statin drugs already on the market?
Doc goes on to tell us that this drug is just as bad as the other’s which came before and were just as highly hyped.
I want to see these drug company backdoor ads removed from Australian Television sets and from the YouTube advertisings as well. What they are doing is not legal and we, in Australia decided direct to consumer advertising was not in the best interests of Australian Consumers.
On the Australian Government page for the Department for Health and Aging there is a link where you can contact the Minister and tell them your problem. The current Federal Minister is The Hon. Tanya Plibersek MP who can be contacted at Minister.Plibersek@health.gov.au. Simply forward this page, or the link to this page with a note from yourself, to the email address provided.
Perhaps you also would care to forward her a copy of this blog, so she can see that I am not the only person who wants to see this Ad Campaign stopped immediately.
Read Doc’s Page for a list of some of the side effects this drug has caused.