March 14, 2016 — The American Medical Association (AMA) as well as Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) and Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) are calling for a ban on or restrictions to direct-to-consumer (DTC) drug ads that might result in a dip in drug sales, but also would hurt patients by eliminating the advantages of DTC drug advertising, according to an article posted today on The New York Times site.
The article, written by blogger Austin Frakt, describes some of the possible ways DTC ads may drive up demand, but also highlights the positive benefits, such as normalizing “stigmatized conditions,” such as depression and other mental illnesses, and driving consumers to visit their doctors to seek help for their conditions. “There’s little consistent evidence that ads substantially promote higher drug prices,” the article states. “Not all prescribing that drug ads promote is valuable, yet they encourage some helpful and appropriate care” according to the author.
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