The National Association of People Living With HIV/AIDS (NAPWA) has welcomed a decision by drug company Gilead Australia to suspend a national advertising campaign that had been running in print media and on radio.

The ad campaign, running under the slogan “Live a little simpler”, did not mention a particular drug by name, but pharmaceutical companies are prohibited from advertising prescription drugs to the public in Australia.

Gilead produces a three-in-one pill for managing HIV and the ads suggested that a pharmaceutical was available that would make juggling medications for some HIV patients less complicated.

After learning of the campaign NAPWA expressed its concerns to Gilead. The company has agreed to consult more widely on future patient-targeted initiatives.

“Gilead and NAPWA agree that treatment decisions are best made in the light of clinical evidence and the needs of individual patients,” a NAPWA statement said.

“NAPWA and Gilead agree to work together to help ensure that patient-focused education supports effective and appropriate treatment decisions by clinicians and patients and which is realistic about the benefits and challenges of HIV treatment across all of the HIV positive population.”

In the statement NAPWA acknowledged Gilead as “a key partner in the Australian HIV response”.

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