Edited extract from the Minutes of the Medicines Commission Meeting of 18 November 1999

MCA presented a paper seeking the Commission's advice on "Disease awareness campaigns" by the pharmaceutical industry. There had already been some debate about this approach and discussion about whether or not it constituted advertising. The Commission's initial views were that there could be a major benefit to public health from such campaigns particularly where it results in greater awareness among the public. However, it appreciated that there could be risks and some campaigns were tantamount to advertising. It was agreed that a more detailed paper would be prepared by *, with input from *, for the next meeting.

* edited under exemption 12 of the Code (privacy of an individual)

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