To DTC or not to DTC?

Europe is debating drug marketing--and the pharma industry is loudly protesting that it is not asking for the right to pursue DTC advertising. "[S]uch mass media would not be appropriate means for the industry to communicate information on specific prescription medicines to European citizens," says Bayer CEO Arthur Higgins (photo), who's also president of the Euro trade group.

But what drugmakers want to be able to do is "raise awareness"--a.k.a. advertise--various diseases. Then, when patients look up info on their own, on the Internet, they'd get access to info about meds. It's unclear whether this means that companies could set up websites about, say, depression, that are simply gateways to drug-marketing sites. But a couple of patient advocacy groups are up in arms about the drug marketing proposals, so the debate's not over yet.

- see the story at PharmaTimes