Endorsement: Ban on misleading medical ads appreciated

Pemra banned 11 TV channels from running adverts promoting unethical medical practices and imposed fine of Rs1 million


Express September 26, 2011

ISLAMABAD:


Medical institutes and professionals have appreciated the government’s decision to ban TV channels from airing commercials promoting unethical health care and medical practices.


On the special directives of the Prime Minister, Pakistani Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) recently banned as many as 11 TV channels from running adverts promoting unethical and hazardous medical practices and imposed a fine of Rs1 million on each channel.

Among those who hailed the decision was Riphah International University, Riphah Institute of Pharmaceutical Science, Army Medical College, Iqra Degree College and a large number of medical professionals.

In a letter addressed to the Prime Minister, Riphah Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences said, “Your direct and timely intervention in regulating health care and medical advertisement practices in the country is highly laudable.” It said that Pakistan is facing serious health care challenges that are compounded by the opportunistic ad campaigns targeting the afflicted and often naïve public.

The Army Medical College Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics also appreciated the prime minister’s interest in the problem, highlighting adverts that capitalise on dengue fever. The letter further said that the step would greatly aid in the elimination of quackery in the country, and requested the prime minister to direct the concerned authorities to take all necessary steps to eliminate the practice.

Iqra Degree College Havelian appreciated the ban, calling the adverts “unprofessional practices at the cost of health”. The letter said that the government’s step will go a long way in ensuring the health of the common man and the government is to be commended for its enforcement.

University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences Lahore vice chancellor, Shifa International Foundation Islamabad chairman, the Consumers Association of Pakistan, Naseer Hospital Lahore, Pakistan Society of Health-System president, Pharmaceutical Business Association, Pakistan president also appreciated the step taken by the government to check such unprofessional health practices.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 26th,  2011.

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