222 Direct-to-Consumer Advertising in Oncology T he O ncologist ® to protecting the right of pharmaceutical companies to provide information about their products. Interestingly, we are the only country that currently protects this par-ticular aspect of free speech, as we are unique among nations in allowing direct-to-consumer advertising without discussion of a ban. New Zealand has allowed it freely in the past, but there is currently a moratorium on the practice there; as part of a new combined drug regulation scheme with Australia, it is likely to be com-pletely banned . Regulation and Legal Issues Physician: I think that sometimes we are obliged to resort to a legal route to try to get pharmaceutical companies to tow the line. Oncology Fellow: Again, the FDA does regulate direct-to-consumer advertising and also takes enforcement actions against companies who do not abide by their rules. Some drug companies submit their ads to the FDA before they appear in print or on television, but all are supposed to do so at least simultaneously with the advertisement’s appearance. In 2004, the FDA reviewed 52,800 promotional pieces . The mechanism of legal
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