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BAN all Prescription Drug Ads on Billboards and TV, and in Magazines

This petition had 70 supporters

Prohibit Direct-to-Consumer Advertising of Prescription Drugs on Billboards, TV, and Magazines.

Prescription drug abuse is a serious public health issue. The United States is in the midst of an unprecedented drug overdose epidemic. Drug overdose death rates have increased five-fold since 1980*.

1) Advertising drives up prescription drug costs.
2) Advertising does not provide the impartial, objective information consumers need to make informed health choices. Its main goal is to increase product sales.
Prescription drugs are not like other consumer goods. Even when used properly, they can cause serious harmful effects, sometimes even death.
3) A sick person is not like someone shopping for a new perfume. People are vulnerable when they are ill and often have to make extremely difficult treatment choices.
4) Companies almost always advertise their newest products to gain market share and recoup development costs. New drugs are not necessarily any safer or more effective, but are usually costlier. Often little is known about rare or long-term risks.
5) There is no evidence that advertising helps patients to make better choices about prescription drug use or that public health will improve as a result.
Doctors often rely heavily on manufacturers for information about drugs, rather than independent information sources, which are often less easily accessible. Studies show that the doctors most influenced by pharmaceutical promotion tend to prescribe less appropriately.

Photo credit: Art Installation by Jennifer Bolande for Desert X

*U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Prescription Drug Abuse Subcommittee, Warner M, Chen LH, Makuc DM, Anderson RN, Miniño AM. Drug poisoning deaths in the United States, 1980–2008. NCHS data brief, no 81. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2011.


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