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Thursday, 12 August 2004
Page: 26389

Senator ALLISON (6:04 PM) —On that point, it is my understanding that it is illegal in Australia at the present time to advertise pharmaceutical products on the Internet and that this was given up in the agreement. As I understand it, there is a blanket ban on pharmaceutical advertising, unlike in the US where there is plenty of it and it has driven up the costs of pharmaceuticals and the demand for the high-end, expensive pharmaceuticals as opposed to generics. Typically, people see expensive drugs advertised and go along to their GPs and say, `I must have those.' So there is a lot of pressure on GPs to prescribe expensive brands. As I understand it, part of the FTA was to water down our advertising ban by allowing it on the Internet.