Do you feel bombarded by drug advertising? Do the commercials seem even longer than ever or are most of so used to fast forwarding or ignoring them? Drug advertising is expected to hit over $5 billion dollars this year! Pharmaceutical advertising does not look like it is slowing down despite politicians on both sides of the aisles putting pressure on the drug makers to curtail their advertising. TV still reigns supreme with the Pharmaceuticals, not only targeting the big 4 networks, but also the cable arena, with baby boomer networks such as Hallmark, Food, and History. And the commercials seem longer than ever? Is that because they need a minimum of 2 minutes for all the side effects?
Many believe that the pharmaceutical advertising increases the cost of drugs and there are debates on both sides of the aisle as to whether they promote health. The doctors believe that drug advertising forces the medical profession to prescribe medicines that appear to cure their ailments. The side effects although mentioned in some cases rather quickly and at the end of the long commercial is not the same as reading the prescription inserts or discussing with your doctor. On the other hand, the drug companies believe these advertisements educate the consumer and bring them to a doctor sooner rather than later.
FDA’s Bad Ad program is an outreach program designed to educate healthcare providers about the role they can play in helping the agency make sure that prescription drug advertising and promotion is truthful and not misleading. The Bad Ad Program is administered by the agency’s Office of Prescription Drug Promotion (OPDP) in the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. The program’s goal is to help raise awareness among healthcare providers about misleading prescription drug promotion and provide them with an easy way to report this activity to the agency
The first amendment allows freedom of speech, are we taking away the Drug makers rights if we ban Drug Advertising. We banned cigarette advertising, can we make parallel decisions on drugs. Should we compromise and allow them to run only in prime time after 9pm? Let me know your thoughts.