Doctors want a ban on direct-to-consumer advertising

Direct-to-consumer advertising should be banned in order to reduce the demand for expensive, unnecessary drug treatments, the American Medical Association’s House of Delegates voted this week…

The policy also advocates for a campaign to urge prescription drug affordability — including demanding more competition in the drug industry — and for urging more transparency in drug costs; it also calls for convening a physician task force on the issue.

Banning DTC advertising would be a really good idea, said Sunny Linnebur, PharmD, associate professor of clinical pharmacy at the University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy…“I can see the potential risks that occur when patients watch commercials and immediately think they need to be on that medication,” she said in a phone interview.

“Number one, it puts pressure on providers — doctors, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants — to prescribe those medications. Number two, patients are not always in the best place to make decisions about which medications they should and should not take, and commercials are targeting patients and can make them think that medicine is for them, when it’s not safe for them.”

In addition, such ads can increase providers’ workloads because “we may have to discuss medications that were never going to be on the table to begin with,” said Linnebur…

The AMA has grappled with the DTC issue before…the association wrote to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services complaining about the misuse of Medicare’s annual wellness visit by commercial firms…“We note that some consumer groups have asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate the direct-to-consumer marketing of some of these commercial entities on the grounds that their advertisements contain false or misleading representations or material omissions,”…

Overdue.

In economic terms, advertising is often called an “enforced demand”. In real terms, it means the Pharma giants can bullshit their way to increased sales by selling consumers on the idea of magical cures.

One thought on “Doctors want a ban on direct-to-consumer advertising

  1. Pedant says:

    Pond’s Cream was invented by pharmacist Theron T. Pond (1800–1852) of Utica, New York, in 1846. Mr. Pond extracted a healing tea from witch hazel which he discovered could heal small cuts and other ailments. Pond’s became a brand of beauty and health care products and is currently owned by parent company the multinational corporation Unilever. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pond's

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