I personally believe that television ads for drugs should not be allowed by the FDA. Advertising drives up prescription drug costs and generally are not meant to help the consumer but to increase sales. Even when properly used, these drugs can cause serious harm. TV commercials spend about 10 seconds explaining the benefits, then the next 40 to 50 seconds telling about possible side effects, the possible dangers or the “possibility that death can occur.”
There is no evidence that advertising helps patients make better choices or that public health will improve. Actually, with new products, often little is known about long-term risks.
Massive growth in spending on direct to consumer advertising has occurred and the pharmaceutical companies are making billions.
The United States and New Zealand are the only countries where direct to the consumer advertising is permitted. We all know how expensive our needed drugs are. I believe these costs could be significantly reduced if drug companies were not allowed to spend such a tremendous amount on television ads.
It is time for the FDA to review the policies that allow television advertisements related to drugs.