22 November 2015

From the Department of, "It's About F%$#ing Time"

The AMA has reversed itself, and called for a ban on prescription drug advertisements:
Drug companies should stop advertising directly to consumers, a major U.S. doctors group said Tuesday, declaring that the ads often push patients to more expensive treatments and inflate demand for therapies.

In a vote Tuesday at the group’s annual meeting in Atlanta, the American Medical Association called for an end to television commercials and magazine spreads that are used to pitch prescription drugs. It’s a change from the AMA’s previous position, which said the ads were fine as long as they were educational and accurate. The U.S. is one of the few countries that allows direct-to-consumer drug ads.

The vote “reflects concerns among physicians about the negative impact of commercially driven promotions, and the role that marketing costs play in fueling escalating drug prices,” AMA Board Chair-elect Patrice A. Harris said in a statement announcing the vote result. “Direct-to-consumer advertising also inflates demand for new and more expensive drugs, even when these drugs may not be appropriate.”
I am not sure why the AMA has reversed itself, but it is long overdue.

However, given the expansive view of business free speech held by the Supreme Court, I am not sure precisely how one would enforce such a ban.


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