New Prescription Drug Advertising Bill Introduced

Senator Al Franken (D-MN), a member of the Senate Health Committee, along with Senators Whitehouse (D-RI), Brown (D-OH) and Udall (D-NM), has introduced S. 2623, the Protecting Americans from Drug Marketing Act. This bill would eliminate the tax deduction for the money spent by pharmaceutical companies on prescription drug advertising. According to Sen. Franken, the bill's goal is to reduce medical costs and to cut down on the misleading information perpetuated by prescription drug ads. However, S. 2623 fails to acknowledge the substantial data demonstrating that DTC advertising plays a critical role in our nation's health care system and that consumers are better informed because of the information provided in the ads.

This bill follows upon a House bill introduced by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), the Responsibility in Drug Advertising Act (H.R. 4565), which would restrict DTC advertising of a new drug in the first three years after the drug's approval. Both bills show an increasing push to impose more limitations on advertising in this area.