A New Zealand activist group joined the anti-DTC advertising pile-on, urging its ouster by the end of 2006.

The Public Health Association, a non-party voluntary political association, said consumer drug ads prompt patients to pressure doctors and “normalize” the use of medicine to resolve issues.

“People may end up paying for medicines that they don’t need and that, in the worst case scenario, may actually be harmful to them,” said the group’s director, Dr. Gay Keating.

The National Party countered that a ban would inhibit drug research.