The ban on OTC drugs advertising proposed by the bill will result in more visits to the doctor, which create a burden on the healthcare system, said Sergey Glagolev, Russia’s Deputy Minister of Health.
At the end of January, deputies of the LDPR faction submitted a bill to the State Duma on banning TV and radio advertising of OTC medicines aimed at consumers. The bill proposed amendments to the law “On Advertising”, according to which “the requirement for the duration of advertising and the area of the frame is established only in relation to drug commercials in film and video services.” At the same time, OTC drugs advertising is allowed only “on specialized television channels and in special radio programs with the participation of medical and pharmaceutical professionals.”
It was noted that intrusive advertising of drugs encourages people to self-medicate. In addition, as noted in the text of the explanatory note, “people’s excessive trust in advertising in matters of treatment reflects poor availability and quality of medicine in our country.”
“Regarding the restriction of advertising and the restriction of patient access to it, and the possible indirect costs for the healthcare system: the situation is most likely to develop in the opposite way: unable to purchase drugs in the early stages of a disease, patients will go to the doctor, increasing the burden on the healthcare system, in the same way that it happened during the covid period… We do not support this bill,” Glagolev said in the State Duma at a meeting of the Health Protection Committee.
He also noted that today over-the-counter use of drugs is allowed in accordance with strictly defined criteria harmonized with the best international standards. Glagolev believes this allows patients to independently diagnose their condition based on the symptoms they have, and this also leads to an extremely low frequency of adverse reactions.