The American Medical Association is calling for a ban on prescription drug advertising aimed at consumers. The AP reports that the group voted Tuesday to adopt a position that is expected to lead to lobbying for a ban on the ads.
The AMA says ads for prescription drugs and implantable medical devices contribute to higher costs and fuel demands by patients for inappropriate treatment, the story reports.
“According to data cited in an AMA news release, ad dollars spent by drugmakers have risen to $4.5 billion in the last two years, a 30 percent increase,” the story reports. “Other data show prices on prescription drugs have climbed nearly 5 percent this year.”
In the release, AMA board member Dr. Patrice Harris said: “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. … Patient care can be compromised and delayed when prescription drugs are unaffordable and subject to coverage limitations by the patients’ health plan.”
The pharmaceutical industry has a different take, and is opposing the AMA position. Tina Stow of the trade group Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America is quoted in the story saying the goal of direct-to-consumer advertising is to provide “scientifically accurate information to patients so that they are better informed about their health care and treatment options.”