Drug promotion in Australia: Policy contestation and the tightening of regulation

Evan Doran, The University of Sydney and The University of Newcastle
Hans Löfgren, Deakin University

ABSTRACT

This paper describes developments in Australia’s regulation of prescription drug marketing and promotion. We show that the pharmaceutical industry has proved less capable of shaping the regulation of promotion than other areas of pharmaceutical policy. Public health advocates have effectively highlighted the negative impact of promotion on quality use of medicines. While consumers have long been assumed to be in need of protection from drug promotion, it is now accepted that marketing to medical professionals should also be more closely controlled. Government has responded by tightening such regulation but has stopped short of ending industry self-regulation.

Evan Doran PhD <evan.doran@newcastle.edu.au> is a Senior Research Fellow with the Centre for Values, Ethics and Law in Medicine at The University of Sydney and a Conjoint Lecturer with the Discipline for Clinical Pharmacology at The University of Newcastle. Hans Löfgren PhD <hans.lofgren@deakin.edu.au> is Associate Professor in Politics and Policy Studies in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Deakin University. He is the editor of The Politics of the Pharmaceutical Industry and Access to Medicines: World Pharmacy and India (Social Science Press, New Delhi 2013).

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