December 11, 2015 – Consumer Ads


Anchor lead:  The American Medical Association says drugs and devices should not be advertised to consumers, Elizabeth Tracey reports

You can live better with the latest drugs and medical devices, advertisements for these products assert.  And as consumers we must believe this message, as so called ‘direct to consumer’ advertisements on the part of the drug and medical device industries have exploded in recent years.  Now the American Medical Association says stop! These ads are inappropriate.  Mike Klag, dean of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, supports such a ban.

Klag: It was interesting to see the AMA come out with this policy statement that recommends a ban on direct to consumer drug and device ads. And I really applaud it.  The rationale is looking at the rising cost of drugs and devices.  There are only two countries that allow direct to consumer ads, and that’s the US and New Zealand. What we’re seeing is an increasing cost for drugs in the US even for generic drugs.  By going direct to consumers they’re in a sense telling consumers to ask their physicians for the latest and the most expensive kinds of treatments.  :31

At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.