From an “ultra mini” version, to the real thing (as if on cue!) — a diplomatic cable on pharma’s efforts to protect DTC, or direct to consumer advertising in New Zealand, and combat the ever-increasing pricing and reimbursement pressures, from the central health administration authorities, there.
Credit this to the New Zealand Herald — do go read it all, but here is a bit:
. . . .13. (C) In addition, U.S. pharmaceutical companies continue to worry that the government will ban direct-to-consumer advertising, one of the industry’s few pathways around Pharmac’s controls (ref C). Several companies, especially those marketing so-called lifestyle drugs for such conditions as hair loss and erectile dysfunction, have built sales through advertising. Unsubsidized drugs accounted for 30 percent of sales for Merck Sharp & Dohme, 25 percent for Pfizer, 20 to 25 percent for Pfizer, 20 percent for Johnson & Johnson, 15 percent for Eli Lilly and less than 6 percent for GlaxoSmithKline this year in New Zealand. Health Minister Annette King and Pharmac oppose direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA) partly because they believe it tends to increase expenditures on pharmaceuticals. DTCA also pressures Pharmac to explain why it does not fund certain advertised drugs. Companies are wary of the New Zealand government using a joint regulatory agency it is establishing with Australia as a vehicle for banning DTCA, which is not allowed in Australia. However, the Australian High Commission told post that such a decision is for the New Zealand government alone to make. . . .
Do go read it all, but here is some of my earlier speculating stuff, then on the war diaries release, from last summer.