Opposition Builds to CanWest's Bid to Kill Canada's Drug Ads Ban

A coalition of unions, women's and health groups have been granted intervenor status in a case in which CanWest MediaWorks is seeking to overturn the Canadian government's ban on direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA). The groups argue that if CanWest is successful it would push up healthcare costs and undermine the sustainability of the Canadian healthcare system. CanWest is arguing that the ban on DTCA is a violation of their right to freedom of expression. In an analysis of the case, Colleen Flood and Michelle Zimmerman from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, warn against assuming that the court won't decide in the media giant's favour. "In order for the current legislation to be upheld, courts will need to be persuaded that nothing short of the existing limits on DTCA would allow the federal government to achieve its other pressing societal concerns, such as protecting patient safety. This will be a difficult task," they wrote.