On 25 July 2012, the members of the New-Zealand Self-Medication Industry agreed on a new code of advertising practice. This Code of Practice aligns with WSMI’s guidelines for developing voluntary self-regulatory codes of advertising practice for non-prescription medicines and natural health products and with WHO’s “Ethical Criteria for Medicinal Drug Promotion”. It also aligns with the Australian Self-Medication Industry’s Code of Practice.
Advertising of non-prescription medicines plays an important role in consumer information; it helps improve consumer awareness (for eg. about a medical condition) and informs consumers of products available for self-medication. Basic standards for advertising should ensure that the information conveyed is truthful and not misleading to consumers. Governments’ pre-control systems can be long and costly. Well devised voluntary systems developed by industry have the advantage of producing medicine advertising which is effective and which complies with national and/or regional legislation and regulation.