The American Medical Association on Tuesday called for a ban on advertising prescription drugs and medical devices directly to consumers, saying the ads drive patients to demand expensive treatments over less costly ones that are also effective.
The influential doctors' group said the new policy reflects physicians' concerns that marketing spending on a proliferation of advertising is helping to drive up drug prices. The group voted at its annual meeting in Atlanta to support a ban.
"Direct-to-consumer advertising also inflates demand for new and more expensive drugs, even when those drugs may not be appropriate," AMA Board Chair-elect Patrice Harris said in a statement.
The United States and New Zealand are the only two countries that allow direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription drugs.
Welcome to one of Gryphen's biggest pet peeves.
I have long argued against these commercials, because they actually convince perfectly healthy people that they are ill and that they need drugs which they simply do not need.
I work with a population highly susceptible to suggestion, and many of them have complained of symptoms that they do not have, and have requested access to prescription medications that not only don't they need but are also potentially hazardous for them to take.
I know we rely on doctors to be the voice of reason for their patients, but the sad truth is that these companies send incredibly attractive drug reps to doctor's offices all over the country with offers of free seminars in exotic locations, golf trips, and a number of other perks to persuade them to push their product, and let's face it not all doctors can resist the temptation.
So yes we most certainly should ban these advertisements.
However the other sad truth is that these companies own certain politicians outright and there is no way they will allow anybody to interfere in the billions of dollars in profit that their benefactors bring in each year.