Advertising of pharmaceutical drugs to the public is a peculiar U.S. phenomenon, which has allowed great expansion of the pharmaceutical business by pushing demand. Hedonistically I've always enjoyed the windfall that the Ad business has enjoyed as well over the past decade however I have wondered about downside of going to our own doctor and announcing our own prescription.
Apparently I’m not alone in this thought process and the Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Health is looking over a multi-pronged bill concerning health in the US. Some of the items being considered are an amendment to the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act "to improve drug safety." Advertising Policy is one of the primary concerns. Here are some of the proposed changes: an ad may need government approval: "the risk evaluation and mitigation strategy for a drug may require that the applicant submit...advertisement of the drug for pre-clearance." The appropriate authorities would have 45 days for review. Second, if there have been any "significant adverse events" or other risk associated with the drug, this must be part of an advertisement, and "advertisements lacking such disclosure would be false or misleading." Finally, the bill states that "the risk evaluation and mitigation strategy for a drug may require that for a fixed period after initial approval, not to exceed three years, the applicant not issue or cause to be issued direct-to-consumer advertisements..."
I’m all for putting a few controls into place however this sounds like bureaucratic BS at it’s finest. One thing we know for sure is nothing will change fast. There are far to many companies involved with very large vested interests.