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Q: Should the United States allow the direct marketing of medications in print and on television?
A: Only the U.S. and New Zealand permit direct marketing of prescription drugs to consumers. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) acquired jurisdiction over DTCA of prescription drugs in 1962. [ For the next 35 years, television advertising was limited by the requirement that ads summarize potential adverse reactions and contraindications to drugs. • In 1997, the FDA issued guidelines that
described how ads could make “adequate provision” for the full disclosure of risks and benefits by referring viewers elsewhere, to a toll-free telephone number, concurrent print ad, a web site, or a physician. As a result, the pharmaceutical industry greatly increased its spending on DTCA, and shifted the majority of its budget from print to broadcast media. • Regulation of DTCA recognizes that prescription drugs differ from other consumer products because of the drugs’ inherent risks. Nevertheless, commercial speech is given significant protection under U.S. law, leading legal scholars to conclude that an outright ban on DTCA would not likely pass constitutional muster. The question remains about how to balance these constitutional protections with the need to protect the public’s health. • American television viewers see as many as 16 hours of prescription drug ads per year, far exceeding the average time spent with a physician. Pharmaceutical manufacturers concentrate DTCA spending on a few brand-name drugs, mostly those used to treat chronic conditions with broad and enduring potential markets—such as high cholesterol, insomnia, or reduced bone density. In 2008, the class of drugs with the greatest DTCA spending was treatments for erectile dysfunction. ]
Expert answered|alhynne09|Points 10|
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Asked 9/21/2012 10:13:40 PM
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