House mulls new pharma ad limits

Pharma lobbyists are facing new challenges this month as the House of Representatives takes on a new FDA overhaul bill which could limit consumer drug advertising. Critics have suggested that such advertising can boost spending unnecessarily, but observers--including some not on the pharmas' payroll--suggest that the ads help educate consumers about new treatment options.

The Senate version of the bill had imposed a ban on consumer drug advertising during the first two years a drug was on the market, but that provision was deleted. (Senators did approve additional FDA funding to increase the number of FDA employees who pre-review such ads, as well as giving the agency the ability to levy substantial fines for ads deemed false or misleading.) Now, pharma industry lobbyists must contend with another troublesome set of provisions, including a potential rule requiring pharmas to hold off on print, radio and TV ads for three years for drugs with the potential for serious harm.

To find out more about the measure:
- read this article in The Boston Globe

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