After several associations called for gender-neutral wording of the note "Ask your doctor or pharmacist" in drug advertising, Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) also advocated a change. “I would be very much in favor of female doctors being specifically named. It corresponds to the reality of the supply,” Lauterbach told the “Bild” newspaper.
Previously, among other things, Doctors President Klaus Reinhardt had spoken out in favor of a corresponding adjustment of the notice. "The legally prescribed wording is no longer up to date," Reinhardt told the editorial network Germany (RND). He emphasized that around half of the medical profession is female.
Almost 90 percent of the employees in public pharmacies are women, said the President of the Federal Union of German Pharmacists' Associations (ABDA), Gabriele Regina Overwiening. "A purely male use of language can by no means be regarded as fair language practice," she criticized.
The wording “For risks and side effects, read the leaflet and ask your doctor or pharmacist” is prescribed in the Medicines Advertising Act. It may not be changed by advertising producers.
"The mandatory text should be replaced by a neutral yet easily understandable wording," Reinhardt demanded. The President of the German Medical Association, Christiane Groß, suggested adding "...or ask your doctor's practice or pharmacy" instead of the male professional titles.
ABDA boss Overwiening spoke out in favor of a legal solution in which several variants are permitted: "Ask your doctor or pharmacist", "Ask your doctor or pharmacist" or "Ask your doctor or pharmacist" could be be allowed.
"Each and every advertiser could then freely and flexibly use one of these formulations and thus also provide publicly visible self-disclosure about their own company with regard to gender-neutral language," she argued, but emphasized that her association has not yet issued an official position on the question of the mandatory text give.