Getting the message out

Relaxed medicine advertising guidelines are set to boost downscheduling applications, industry believes

Recent reforms to advertising regulations for Schedule 3 medicines are a “big win” for consumers, pharmacy and industry, and could lead to more downscheduling requests, ASMI believes.

Speaking at APP2018 on the Gold coast, Lindsay Forrest, Chair of the Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI) this morning, welcomed the ad rule reforms.

“I have stood before you for several years and talked about the benefits of S3 advertising and the need to work together to make it happen,” Mr Forrest said at the annual APP State of the Industry panel. “And this year it has! It is a big win for consumers, pharmacy and industry.”

ASMI has long campaigned for a relaxation of advertising restrictions for the medicines formerly described as “the medicines consumers are not allowed to know about” and is currently helping implement the changes.

“ASMI anticipates that the down-scheduling process will be streamlined to encourage more manufacturers to apply for S4 (prescription-only) medicines to be switched to OTC,” it said in a media statement.

Mr Forrest said the new advertising rules will drive consumers to seek advice at pharmacies.

“Access to these medicines empowers consumers and enables them to self-care. And we all know that self-care is critical for the sustainability of the health system.”

ASMI will now work with health care professionals and the TGA to enhance the Scheduling Framework Policy, he said.

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