AMA studying effects of marketing drugs to consumers

The American Medical Association, agreed yesterday to study whether consumer drug advertising leads to unnecessary prescriptions, potentially harming patients and driving up health costs.

Several psychiatrists’ groups with representatives at the A.M.A. meeting raised the idea of a ban on advertising of new drugs for at least a few months after they go on sale. This is so doctors could evaluate medications before patients start asking for them, and spot serious side effects.

The heat is turning up on the drug companies. Last year $3.8 billion was spent advertising their products.

The Food and Drug Administration has recently raised its surveillance of drug advertising, sending out 13 warning letters this year on advertising-related issues. The United States House of Representatives voted this month to double the F.D.A.’s budget for monitoring the advertising of pharmaceuticals to consumers.

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, is drafting guidelines for the industry.

I’d think it would be best there was no direct advertising like we have in Canada. See my previous post If that doesn’t happen, the next best position would be just advertising for the condition with no mention of the product, just the company name at the end.

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