Petition Closed
Petitioning Both Houses of Congress, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Take prescription drug commercials off television if we can't buy the drugs off the store shelves.

203
Supporters

Prescription drugs should be discussed with your doctor; not advertised for profit on television. This petition is to both houses of Congress, and the FDA. Please help us live less drug dependent lives: take prescription drug-pushing television commercials off the air or place much tighter restrictions on them.

In a Huffington Post article dated August 9, 2012, reporter Alexander Eichler exposed the fact that pharmaceutical drug companies spend more money on advertising than research. Consider the following statistic: for every dollar ($1) spent on research, nineteen dollars ($19) are spent on advertising. In other words, it's better to sell the existing drug than to create a newer, safer one or find alternative remedies that might do a better job with fewer side effects. Furthermore, some pharmaceutical companies are curtailing production of drugs that help consumers, because it hurts their bottom line. The costs of advertising are passed onto the customer in the form of higher prescription drug prices.

Many Congress members receive campaign donations from prescription drug manufacturers, and have turned a blind eye, letting them rule the airways. However, Big Pharma’s self-serving advertisements are indefensible. The industry is literally acting as a "drug pusher," goading viewers to harass their doctors to prescribe medicines that they may not need. The commercial appeal to consumers does not make sense, and deserves closer regulatory scrutiny:

1. The pharmaceutical drug ads are better suited for doctors, the only professionals who can prescribe the medicine.
2. These commercials are for products that are not retail merchandise.
3. The commercials spend more time providing legal disclaimers, to levels of absurdity, than advertising a drug's benefits.
4. By showcasing these medical prescription drugs, the industry is providing only one remedy for consideration to address what ails us: prescription drugs.

This commercial appeal to the consumer appears to be unethical, and cultivates a culture of "sickness" that debilitates the American mental psyche as a whole, which then takes a toll on healthcare delivery systems. Doctors have to spend their very limited time talking patients out of being prescribed medicine instead of discussing the medicine that is more likely to be of better use to them. Furthermore, there are other types of remedies that do not require prescriptions and which may be even more efficacious, a fact seldom addressed in the commercials.

In its ever-hungry quest for profits, Big Pharma is destroying the quality of our lives, making Americans their experimental guinea pigs for medicines, which we likely do not need, but feel pressured to consider. Shame on the companies that do this—they are not doing the American people a service; they are forcing drug dependency upon us.

The FDA claims to regulate commercials advertising drugs, but it doesn't review the commercials for accuracy. Nor does it prove that this type of advertising to consumers for products they cannot buy in their own discretion is necessary.  

The pharmaceutical industry should devote a cable channel to prescription drug advertisements, specifically to doctors and if consumers want to see the commercials, they can view them on that channel.

Letter to
Both Houses of Congress, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
Take prescription drug commercials off television.