Discussions Between The WMA And The International Pharmaceutical Federation

Further discussions are to take place between the World Medical Association and the International Pharmaceutical Federation about protecting patients from the excessive promotion and marketing of over the counter medicines.

At its annual General Assembly in Hamburg, Germany, the WMA considered a draft statement criticising any promotion and marketing of medicines which were designed to stimulate impulse purchases or to persuade people to buy more medicine than was needed.

Dr Anders Milton, chairman of the WMA Council said: "Modern marketing techniques might be suitable for increasing the sale of general goods, but they are quite inappropriate when it comes to medicines.

"At a time when governments are increasingly encouraging responsible self care it is important that advertising and marketing should not encourage irresponsible self medication.

"The WMA and the International Pharmaceutical Federation will be holding more talks to see if we can agree a joint announcement setting out our views for the benefit of the patients of the world."