Only two countries in the world allow advertising (TV and magazine) for prescription medications–the United States and New Zealand (although the American Medical Association has recently voted to call for a ban on this very lucrative type of advertising).
The reason this advertising is problematic is that people are taking the word of paid actors over the advise of their doctor. Patients arrive at their doctors office convinced that they need a prescription for X or Y, based on a slick ad.
The pharmaceutical companies have very deep pockets. They pay for these ads. But, in fact, it is the consumer that pays. Hence the skyrocketing cost of prescription medication in the United States (and the reason why so many Americans cross the border into Canada to buy their drugs).
With CanWest Global taking the Canadian Federal government to court, claiming infringement of their freedom of expression, we may end up with the same high-priced medications that are currently hurting Americans.
Let’s hope that our new Liberal Government, under the leadership of Justin Trudeau, will see through this scam and continue to refuse to air paid advertising for prescription medications.