Edwards pledges limits on DTC ads

Look for a crackdown on direct-to-consumer ads if John Edwards is elected in 2008. The Democratic presidential hopeful says drugs shouldn't be advertised to patients for two years after they're launched. That way, any safety kinks could be worked out before consumers stampede to their docs, demanding prescriptions.

Edwards would also empower the FDA to approve--or disapprove--all DTC ads before they're aired. But perhaps his strongest language was reserved for the amount of money drug makers funnel into advertising. Who's paying for these ads? he asked his audience of potential voters in New Hampshire over the weekend. "You are," was his answer. Moreover, drug makers spend twice as much on marketing as they do on R&D, he said. Ouch.

- read the Guardian Unlimited report

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