American Medical Association wants to ban drug ads to consumers

first_img @Pharmalot About the Author Reprints Benjamin Stone/Flickr PharmalotAmerican Medical Association wants to ban drug ads to consumers In fact, the AMA plans to convene a task force and launch an advocacy campaign to promote greater affordability for medicines and greater transparency in prescription drug prices. The AMA worries that patients are foregoing needed treatment due to rising costs and limitations on insurance coverage. Tags advertisingAmerican Medical Associationprescription drugs By Ed Silverman Nov. 17, 2015 Reprints Why doctors’ call to ban drug advertising is a dead end In a dramatic step, the American Medical Association is calling for a ban on advertising prescription drugs and medical devices directly to consumers. The move, however, is largely symbolic, because any ban would have to be authorized by Congress.The new AMA policy comes after years of complaints by physicians. Ever since the Food and Drug Administration revised guidelines in 1997 to permit drug firms and medical device manufacturers to use broadcasting advertising, doctors argued some ads too often encourage patients to seek medicines unnecessarily. They also resent the pressure the ads place on them to write prescriptions out of concern patients will switch physicians.Another rationale for the ban, however, is the rising cost of drugs. Doctors have long argued that many of the ads aimed directly at consumers promote more expensive medicines. This, in turn, raises overall health care costs.advertisement Related: Ed Silverman Pharmalot Columnist, Senior Writer Ed covers the pharmaceutical industry. [email protected] The new policy “reflects concerns among physicians about the negative impact of commercially driven promotions, and the role that marketing costs play in fueling escalating drug prices,” said AMA Board Chair-elect Dr. Patrice Harris, in a statement. “Direct-to-consumer advertising also inflates demand for new and more expensive drugs, even when these drugs may not be appropriate.”advertisement The AMA noted that prices on generic and brand-name drugs rose 4.7 percent this year, according to the Altarum Institute Center for Sustainable Health Spending. And the organization also pointed out that advertising dollars spent by drug makers increased by 30 percent in the last two years to $4.5 billion. The organization cited data from Kantar Media, a market research firm.By casting the issue in the context of rising drug prices, the AMA is clearly trying to create as much support as possible for a ban. The cost of pharmaceuticals, after all, is a hot-button issue that has galvanized much of the American public in recent months. The AMA proposal amounts to yet another indication that drug pricing will remain a policy issue for the near-term.Not surprisingly, industry reaction was scathing.One trade group that represents advertisers and marketers argues that a ban would violate free speech rights. “It flies in the face of the First Amendment,” John Kamp, who heads the Coalition for Healthcare Communication, told us. Companies, he explained, have a right to tell “the truth” about their products.He also maintained that patients and caregivers “want and deserve up-to-date information on the availability of drugs. The days of Dr. Kildare being the exclusive source of information about health and medicine have come and gone.”A spokeswoman for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the trade group for drug makers, sent us this: “Providing scientifically accurate information to patients so that they are better informed about their health care and treatment options is the goal of direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical advertising about prescription medicines.“Beyond increasing patient awareness of disease and available treatments, DTC advertising has been found to increase awareness of the benefits and risks of new medicines and encourage appropriate use of medicines. In addition, DTC advertising encourages patients to visit their doctors’ offices for important doctor-patient conversations about health that might otherwise not take place.”last_img read more

Portmore observes Earthquake Awareness Week

first_imgRelatedPortmore observes Earthquake Awareness Week Portmore observes Earthquake Awareness Week EnvironmentJanuary 13, 2011 Advertisements RelatedPortmore observes Earthquake Awareness Weekcenter_img FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail The Portmore Municipal Council, in observance of Earthquake Awareness Week, has planned presentations and drills at schools and other locations across the municipality. Slated for January 12 to 20, the activities seek to increase the awareness of residents to the hazards, the effects and actions which can be taken to mitigate the impact of earthquakes. They included presentations at the Gregory Park Primary School and the Greater Portmore Junior Centre and a drill at the Bridgeport Primary School on Wednesday, January 12. Others include a drill at the Portmore Missionary Preparatory School on Friday, January 14, a presentation and drill at Greater Portmore Primary School, Monday, January 17, and presentations at the Cumberland High School on Wednesday, January 19 and Acropolis Portmore, on Thursday, January 20. Earthquake Awareness Week is being observed January 9 to 15, under the theme, ‘When an Earthquake Strikes…Be Bold! Drop, Cover, Hold!’ RelatedPortmore observes Earthquake Awareness Weeklast_img read more

Haz-mat clean up halts I-10 west traffic

first_img DPS is suggesting westbound motorists use Highway 124 or Highway 90 to travel west.Long delays should be expected on I-10, DPS said. Staff report All westbound traffic lanes of Interstate 10, near Winnie, were closed due to the crash.center_img Authorities closed Interstate 10 westbound in Winnie on Thursday morning because of hazardous material clean up.The Department of Public Safety reported an overturned truck tractor semi-trailer on Interstate 10 in Chambers County at around 6:30 a.m.last_img read more