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Advertising in medical offices, White: code of ethics says no

Posters have appeared in some doctor's offices inviting the consumption of specific brands of mineral water as they are considered "healthy". An initiative accompanied by the stamp of the Italian Federation of general practitioners and which also provides for the drawing of 100 weekend cruises for the doctors displaying the poster. This was reported by a survey published by the magazine Il Fatto Alimentari but, as he recalls Amedeo Bianco, president of the National Federation of Orders of Surgeons and Dentists (Fnomceo), according to the code of ethics, the individual professional should not use his image to promote commercial products. "The question has been raised in the appropriate forums and will be addressed," he says, "there have been no calls but the doctors who have joined the initiative have been asked for a general reflection and we hope to obtain acceptable results". It is certainly not the first time this has happened, recalls Bianco, "even toothpastes and intimate cleansers have received the support of medical associations". And the critical point is precisely this: «The code sets points of reference for the individual doctor, inviting him in principle not to combine his image with promotional messages of a commercial nature» he points out. Therefore, it is not aimed specifically at professional associations, trade unions and scientific societies: «The orientation should be analogous» adds Bianco «except for initiatives which, keeping the message sober and truthful, have as final objective the support for projects of a social nature, but it would still be inadvisable. In these cases they could be taken into consideration, even if it remains inadvisable ». With respect to this theme, explains the president of Fnomceo, "the new code which will update the one defined in 2006, will address the dimension of the associations and it will be specified that they will have to withdraw from certain initiatives or identify them by clarifying their purposes".

Simona Zazzetta – 23 January 2013 – DoctorNews33



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