Stop Prescription Drug Marketing in America

Stop Prescription Drug Marketing in America

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Why this petition matters

Started by Crystal Elizabeth

Pharmaceutical companies spent $30B (Ars Technica by Beth Mole January 11th, 2019 and JAMA Network, "Medical Marketing in the United States 1997 - 2016) in marketing costs to promote their drugs to doctors and a smaller portion of that went to marketing the drugs to us.

I would be lying if I said I was shocked by this. For some time I've been bothered by the multitude of ways prescription drugs are advertised, I didn't realize this also included the way doctors are compensated to speak about a drug. As a small business owner (unrelated to the pharma industry) and as someone with a background in marketing, I know just how persuasive good marketing can be. I also know how expensive it can be and what type of return you can expect if you have an effective marketing strategy. My petition is based on a few simple questions: Why are pharmaceutical companies allowed to advertise/sell drugs? Why are so many Americans okay with pharmaceutical companies spending so much money on advertising? And why are we allowing these drugs to be advertised in almost every way possible and yet almost impossible to afford when we actually need them?

I’m asking the United States government to put a stop to the entire marketing and advertising drug industry by putting laws in place that restrict how pharmaceutical companies get the word out about their prescription drugs. These laws include:

  1. Putting a cap on the number of pharmaceutical sales representatives and ending all cash sign-on bonuses for new sales reps.
  2. Remove all paid for meals, travel and swag given to doctors.
  3. Cap the amount a doctor can be paid to speak about a potential drug or completely prohibit this altogether. (A step in the right direction: The Sunshine Act was passed in 2010 and requires financial transparency by physicians as to whether or not they're receiving gifts from drug companies. This puts the burden on the medical professional to be transparent, not the drug company.)
  4. Remove all television/streaming ads (especially ads targeted to youth, students and the elderly).
  5. Restrict social media campaigns to only allow for informative fact-based ads that include all side effects or the most damaging side effects.
  6. Remove all photography and videography that suggests a certain outcome by taking that drug in pamphlets, print material and online advertising.

In addition to the staggering costs to market the prescription drugs that many of us use to function, it is also equally important to point out how much the CEOs of these pharmaceutical companies are making. Several companies are diversified and sell more than prescription drugs; however, when you pay for your next prescription - remember this: Let's take the EpiPen (manufactured by Pfizer), not an oral drug, but a life-saving way to administer epinephrine needed for those with deadly allergies costs anywhere from $300 - $700 without insurance. The CEO of Pfizer, Ian Read with a small 15.7% share reports earnings of $27,913,775 (Wall Street Journal, MyLogIQ LLC (pay); Institutional Shareholder Services (performance). For those with certain types of Leukemia, the drug Sprycel costs approximately $8,400 for 60 tablets without insurance. The CEO of Bristol-Myers Squibb who makes Sprycel, Giovanni Caforior only brings in 7.8% of shares and receives $18,687,123. 

Removing the marketing of prescription drugs is just the first step in a long list of steps we need to take as Americans. 

America, we have the control to stop this. Please sign, share and let’s take one small step in gaining control over our health. I will continue to update this petition as I discover more information. 

74 have signed. Let’s get to 100!