American Medical Association Calls To Ban Ads For Prescription Drugs, Medical Devices

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 10.34.35 AMIn the future when you tune in to watch the big game or your favorite primetime show there might be something missing during the commercial break: ads for prescription drugs and medical devices. The American Medical Association proposed a ban on such advertisements Tuesday, claiming the marketing may be driving consumer demand for unnecessary and expensive treatments. 

The Chicago Tribune reports that the AMA adopted a policy on Tuesday that supports such a ban and calls for greater transparency in advertised prescription drug costs.

AMA is just the latest health organization to push for a ban on advertising prescription drugs: groups like World Health Organization, the National Center for Health Research, as well as consumer advocacy groups, like Public Citizen, have previously raised concerns that such advertisements pressure doctors to prescribe particular medications that may be less effective or more expensive.

“Today’s vote in support of an advertising ban reflects concerns among physicians about the negative impact of commercially driven promotions, and the role that marketing costs play in fueling escalating drug prices,” Dr. Patrice A. Harris, the AMA’s incoming chair, said in a statement.

The Tribune reports that drug makers spent $4.5 billion on consumer advertising last year, and $20 billion in the last five years.

The top 10 advertised drugs include two for erectile dysfunction, three for arthritis, two for mental health issues and one each for stroke prevention, fibromyalgia, and diabetes.

Drugmakers have defended their advertising stance, saying it encourages people to seek medical advice and helps to remove stigma about certain conditions.

AMA doesn’t want you to see those Cialis ads [The Chicago Tribune]

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