November 27, 2015

Doctors Group Wants Ban on Prescription Drug Ads

The American Medical Association last week called for a ban on direct-to-consumer ads for prescription drugs and implantable medical devices. The doctors group said these ads  contribute to rising costs and patients’ demands for inappropriate treatment.

Delegates at the powerful group’s meeting in Atlanta voted to include it in the AMA’s ongoing lobbying efforts.

An AMA spokesperson later cited the negative impact of commercials and marketing on escalating drug prices.  According to an AMA news release, ad dollars spent by drug makers have risen to $4.5 billion in the last two years, a 30% increase. Other data show prices on prescription drugs have climbed nearly 5% this year.

The AMA’s next steps will include convening a physician task force; launching an advocacy campaign to promote prescription drug affordability by demanding choice and competition in the pharmaceutical industry; and seeking greater transparency in prescription drug prices and costs.

“It’s good to see that doctors are joining our fight for lower prescription drug prices,” said Alliance President Robert Roach, Jr. “The public does not benefit when inappropriate pressure for more expensive drugs raises costs for all Americans, disproportionately affecting seniors. These types of ads are driving that demand to unwarranted extremes.”

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