Lower health care cost by eliminating all prescription drug advertising to consumers

Lower health care cost by eliminating all prescription drug advertising to consumers

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Evangelina Mangino started this petition to Politicians, legislatures, or government agencies

-- Big pharmaceutical companies are spending far more on marketing than research.
-- Big pharmaceutical companies take tax breaks for marketing expenses.
-- Marketing expenses are passed on to consumers.
-- Doctors and medical professionals are in the best position to provide information to patients, not drug company advertisers aiming to make a profit.

The US and New Zealand are the only countries where drug makers are allowed to market prescription drugs directly to consumers. Even as politicians and physicians press for strict limits on prescription drug ads, the pharmaceutical industry is pouring BILLIONS into new TV and print campaigns. Ad spending soared more than 60 percent in the last four years, hitting $5.2 billion last year.
The American Medical Association called for a ban on direct-to-consumer advertising partly because patients insist on getting the brand-name medication they’ve seen on TV, though other drugs might be more effective, less expensive, or both. Viewers of these ads either hate them and fast forward, mute, or change the channel; or become anxious about their health and begin imagining inexistent symptoms.
Some lawmakers are clearly receptive to the idea: Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.) introduced a bill to eliminate the tax breaks that drug makers can take to offset their spending on ad campaigns. Franken framed his move as a “common sense measure to help cut down health care costs.” And in the House, Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) has called for a three-year moratorium on ads for new drugs.
The Food and Drug Administration is also scrutinizing drug ads closely. It’s studying whether the ads make it too hard for consumers to understand the potential side effects associated with medications — for instance, by using cartoon characters to downplay risks.
There are also calls to end the tax breaks for drug advertising and require drug makers to get their ads cleared by federal regulators.

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