Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

AMA calls for ban on consumer advertising for prescription drugs and medical devices

CHICAGO — The American Medical Association on Tuesday called for a ban on consumer advertising for prescription drugs and medical devices, saying such marketing could be driving demand for unnecessary expensive treatments.

The Chicago-based association said it adopted a policy supporting an advertising ban and called for greater transparency in prescription drug prices and costs. The policy was adopted by physicians at an AMA meeting in Atlanta.

"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.

Last year, drugmakers spent $4.5 billion on consumer advertising, a 30 percent jump from 2012, according to Kantar Media, a market research firm that specializes in media consumption.

Spending on prescription medicines jumped 13 percent last year to $374 billion, according to data firm IMS Health, a medical industry marketing research firm.

The AMA is the latest health organization to call for a ban on such ads, following the World Health Organization, the National Center for Health Research and other groups. Many consumer groups, including Public Citizen, have also pushed for a ban, saying such advertising pressures doctors to prescribe particular medications that may be less effective and more expensive and risky.

The United States and New Zealand are the only countries that allow direct-to-consumer drug advertising.

Drugmakers have defended the advertising, saying it encourages people to seek medical advice and removes the stigma associated with medical conditions. The ads can trigger "important doctor-patient conversations about health that might otherwise not take place," says a white paper issued by Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, a trade association based in Washington.

The AMA policy also calls for launching an advocacy campaign to promote prescription drug affordability by demanding choice and competition in the pharmaceutical industry.

The association said it was responding to "deepened concerns" that anti-competitive behavior in a consolidated pharmaceutical marketplace has the potential to increase drug prices. The group said it would monitor pharmaceutical mergers and acquisitions, as well as the impact of such actions on drug prices.

According to Nielsen, drugmakers spent nearly $20 billion over the past five years to advertise drugs to consumers. The biggest share of the ad money last year was spent on television ($3.2 billion), followed by magazines ($1.2 billion), newspapers ($127 million), radio ($26 million) and billboards ($4 million).

Of the top 10 advertised drugs, two are for erectile dysfunction (Cialis and Viagra), three are for arthritis (Xeljanz, Humira and Celebrex), two are for mental health issues (Latuda and Abilify), and one each is for stroke prevention (Eliquis), fibromyalgia (Lyrica) and diabetes (also Lyrica).

©2015 Chicago Tribune

AMA calls for ban on consumer advertising for prescription drugs and medical devices 11/17/15 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 17, 2015 6:12pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Tribune News Service.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. St. Petersburg showdown: Kriseman and Baker pull no punches in first forum

    Local Government

    A standing-room-only crowd packed a Midtown church banquet hall Tuesday to witness the first face-off between Mayor Rick Kriseman and former mayor Rick Baker in what is a watershed mayoral contest in the city's history.

    Former Mayor Rick Baker, left, is challenging incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman, right, to become St. Petersburg mayor.
  2. Wildlife officers look for answers in gopher tortoise deaths while reward money piles up

    Wildlife

    The blood had already pooled when the bodies were found, bashed and beaten. One was dead. The other was still gasping, but it was too late.

    A gopher tortoise emerges from a bush to feed on vegetation on Thursday in 2016 at the Moccasin Lake Environmental Education Center in Clearwater. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission is investigating the deaths of two tortoises that were beaten and their shells broken in Manatee County. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Times]
  3. Airbnb on track to shatter tax revenues brought in last year

    Business

    Airbnb has collected more than $18 million in taxes for Florida state and local governments so far this year, putting it on a fast-track to shatter its 2016 tax collection of $20 million.

    Airbnb has collected more than $18 million in taxes for Florida state and local governments so far this year, putting it on a fast-track to shatter its 2016 tax collection of $20 million.
[Bloomberg file photo]

  4. PSTA foresees no service cuts as it rolls out proposed 2018 budget

    Transportation

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority will unveil the first draft of its 2018 budget at Wednesday morning's meeting of the governing board.

    A Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority bus leaves the terminal at  3180 Central Ave. in St Petersburg in 2014. [CHERIE DIEZ   |   Times]