Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Direct to Consumer Drug Advertising

Those drug advertisements on tv and in magazines have always bothered me for a couple of reasons. First of all, the drug companies actually spend more money advertising their new drugs than they do on drug research and development. Second, the commercials give an impression that drugs are the first line of defense in fighting disease rather than a healthy lifestyle. Now there is an article in PLoS Medicine questioning how wise it was of our government to allow 'Direct to consumer drug advertising. Did you know that only the USA and New Zealand allow DTCA? And, that New Zealand is considering resinding the law?

From PLoS Medicine:

DTCA is limited to drugs that are profitable to advertise: mostly expensive, new drugs for long-term use for common indications. Such advertising increases premature rapid uptake and overuse of new drugs before flaws, including safety problems, have been discovered and communicated to health professionals [21,23,24]. Many new drugs are inferior to older treatments, and over two-thirds are no better but are often more expensive [25]. Increased use of new drugs stimulated by DTCA can lead to adverse events directly (for example, cardiovascular events associated with COX-2 selective inhibitors, which were heavily advertised to the US public) [23,26,27] or indirectly, by diverting resources from more cost-effective interventions.

Read more about DTCA here.

1 comment:

Daniel Haszard said...

Well said,i applaud your blog,mental health consumers are the least capable of self advocacy,my doctors made me take zyprexa for 4 years which was ineffective for my symptoms.I now have a victims support page against Eli Lilly for it's Zyprexa product causing my diabetes.--Daniel Haszard www.zyprexa-victims.com