Advertising of medicines under discussion


Source: Meio & Mensagem, 03/03/2008

The rules that limit the disclosure of advertisements for drugs that do not require a prescription are expected to change later this year, and one of the changes may prevent the presence of personalities in advertising in the category. The proposal was quoted last week during the 1 Q Forum for Advertising and Prescription-Free Medicines (MIP), which also discussed the ethics of current category ads.


The use of celebrities to publicize this type of medicine was put in check for combining the product with a person without the capacity to recommend a medicine to the population.


Another suggestion mentioned in the event is the archiving of the advertisement for a period of five years by the agencies and vehicles to enable any type of later consultation by the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa). “Many advertisements stimulate consumption and dispense basic and elementary information for consumers”, says Terezinha de Jesus Andreoli Pinto, director of USP's Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Among the main problems pointed out by the speakers in the ads are the lack of clarity of essential product information, phrases that induce the consumption of medicines, lack of warnings for use in a certain age group, disclosure of properties that the drug does not have and important recommendations placed in lowercase letters, which make reading difficult.


In his presentation, Marcelo Polacow Bisson, from the Federal Pharmacy Council (CFF), commented on a study carried out by Anvisa with one hundred pieces of advertising for prescription-free medicines. And the conclusion is that they all disregarded one or more articles of Resolution RDC nº 102/00 - the last rule to delimit the sector - and whose average was 4,13 errors per advertisement. “The behavior of companies is a determining factor in building a good business environment. And being ethical must be the first social responsibility of a company ”, says André Franco Montoro Filho, executive president of Instituto Etco.


The event was held by the Brazilian Association of the Non-Prescription Drugs Industry (Abimip) - an entity that gathers 22 companies in the sector that represent about 85% of the Brazilian MIP market and 30% of the total pharmaceutical market -, in partnership with the Management Advertising (GPROP) of Anvisa.


Companies that produce non-prescription drugs invested a total of R $ 863 million in advertising last year, an amount that exceeds the value of 15 by 2006%. In the division between the media, open TV was the one that absorbed the most, with 75%. Next came radio (14%), pay TV and magazine (both with 5%) and newspaper (1%). Among the segments of the industry that most invested are the flu and colds (R $ 190 million), digestive system (R $ 16 7 million) and pain (R $ 163 million). (FS)