Canadian Journal of Law and Technology


Elvina C. Chow


freedom of expression, advertising of pharmaceuticals


The Supreme Court of Canada has consistently wrestled with the conflict between legislation designed to protect consumers’ health and the constitutional guarantee of the fundamental freedom of expression. This paper investigates the justification for the current regulatory framework for pharmaceutical advertising on television. Aware that the provisions in the FDA are able to withstand Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Charter) scrutiny, several possible policy initiations are nevertheless proposed.

The paper is divided into five separate sections. Having first introduced DTCA of pharmaceuticals on television in Section I, I will now turn to a more comprehensive examination of DTCA in Canada in Section II. Next, I will fully examine the nature of expression characterized in drug advertising in Section III, before delving into the main argument of the paper, a Section One challenge Char- ter challenge in Section IV. Finally, I conclude that the current prohibitions against DTCA of drugs on television are justified and will provide a few recommendations in Section V.