The US is one of two countries that permit the advertisement of prescription drugs. A plurality of the American people knows that health care should not be a business, but a right of every citizen.
Pharmaceutical companies spend billions on advertising that massively pollutes media. Their expenditures become a tax write-off while we as citizens pay for it as part of the high prices for drugs. It is well past time that we join the majority of intelligent societies and prohibit such advertising.
About prescription drug advertising
Drug marketing is a big business, and companies are willing to spend a lot of money to offer you an easy solution to a health problem you may or may not have. From 2012 to 2015, yearly spending on prescription drug advertising to consumers rose from $3 billion to $5 billion, and that is expected to only go up.
The United States and New Zealand are the only countries where drug makers are allowed to market prescription drugs directly to consumers. The FDA does not approve prescription drug ads in advance, but its staff tries to monitor them to ensure claims are not false or misleading.
Ads are submitted to the FDA only when they first appear in public, which means people may see inaccurate ads about prescription drugs before the FDA has had time to review them and seek corrections.
The ads are often cited as a factor for rising health care costs. Prescription drugs accounted for nearly 17% of total health care spending in 2015, up from about 7% in the 1990s before the revised FDA guidelines went into effect.
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The pharmaceutical lobby is one of the most well organized and well funded on Capitol Hill. To gather momentum for an end to prescription drug advertising, we will need a well-connected and experienced lobbyist who can share important information about the harms of these advertisements and can refute misinformation from the pharmaceutical lobby.
Please join me in helping to end or limit prescription drug advertising in the United States to reduce health care costs and stop harmful advertising practices.
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