Doctors lobby to ban direct-to-consumer marketing of prescription drugs

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The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis.

You can’t watch TV for long before seeing a commercial for a big pharma drug (with its comically long list of side effects). But the biggest medical organization in the U.S. would like that to change.

After wrestling with the issue for well over a decade, the American Medical Association (AMA) called for a ban on direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription drugs and medical devices.

The announcement came from members at an AMA meeting in Atlanta.

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“We want to spend our time diagnosing and treating patients, not rebutting marketing claims,” Michael Miller, a delegate of the Wisconsin Medical Society, argued at the meeting, according to Bloomberg.

“Drugs aren’t like everything else, people don’t need to be sold on the newest and brightest drug,” Lisa Schwartz, a professor of medicine at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, told BuzzFeed News. “People need to be educated on the benefits and harms, but that’s not what drug ads do.”

It’s unclear how much effect this call will have, however, given that such a ban would require an act of Congress.

The United States is one of only two countries (the other is New Zealand) that allows direct-to-consumer advertising, such as TV and magazine spots, for prescription drugs. Drug companies spent $4.5 billion on consumer marketing in 2014. This investment, according to the AMA, fuels higher drug prices.

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Read full, original post: Doctors Want To Pull Drug Ads From TV And Magazines

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