Pharma aims to forestall DTC legislation

Pharma industry lawyers descended on the U.S. capital this week to meet with House Energy and Commerce Committee staffers, hoping to forestall legislation that could limit drugmakers' ability to advertise their products, the Wall Street Journal Health Blog reports. As you know, that committee has been dogging pharma on its DTC advertising practices all year, and it staged a tough hearing on the subject in May.

So attorneys from PhRMA, the trade group, made the pilgrimage to counter some of the committee's proposals on DTC limitations. The association has been working on updating its voluntary guidelines--akin to the doc-gift-and-disclosure code announced last week--in hopes of forestalling legislation. Chairman John Dingell told the Health Blog that if PhRMA's new guidelines show a "serious effort to resolve the issues," then the committee will hold off on any more embarrassing hearings. But, he added, "The Committee... expect[s] results within a credible timeframe or we will be forced to consider whether a public airing would be a more productive way to proceed." Uh-oh.

- read the Health Blog post

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