Last updated on: 4/9/2010 | Author:

Daniel J. Carlat, MD Biography

Practicing Psychiatrist
Pro to the question "Should Prescription Drugs Be Advertised Directly to Consumers?"

“I have certainly received an excessive dose of DTC ads… And, yes, I get that DTC’s encourage consumers to ask their doctors to prescribe the newest and most expensive meds.

But banning them doesn’t make sense. Why? For one, it’s one of the only arenas where drug companies advertise their products with full disclosure. Everybody knows it’s an expensive ad paid for by the company. There’s no pseudo-legitimate journal or medical education company pretending to be a scientific article, when in reality it’s a paid advertisement.

Second, they do serve an educational function for consumers, if biased. There are a lot of guys out there urinating very frequently who would not consider this a potentially treatable issue if they hadn’t seen those irksome Flomax commercials, the ones featuring the sports-crazed baby boomers who get to hang out in their kayaks longer without having to run into the woods–all because they’re taking their Flomax. Sure, viewers are going to run to their doctors and ask for Flomax my name, but it’s up to the docs to decide which drug is best. And meanwhile, some men will find out they have early prostate cancer (rather than benign prostatic hyperplasia) and might get their lives saved in the bargain.

I say let the companies have their DTC ads.”

“What’s Wrong with DTC Ads?,”, Oct. 29, 2007

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Psychiatrist, private practice, Newburyport (MA), 1997-present
  • Editor-in-Chief, Carlat Psychiatry Report
  • Associate Clinical Professor, Psychiatry, Tufts University School of Medicine, 2004-present
  • Founder, Clearview Publishing LLC, 2002-present
  • Staff Member, Anna Jaques Hospital, 1997-present
  • Massachusetts Representative, American Psychiatric Association, 2008-2009
  • Clinical Fellow, Harvard Medical School, 1992-1995
  • Graduated from the psychiatric residency, Massachusetts General Hospital, 1995
  • MD/MA, University of California at Berkeley/University of California at San Francisco (joint program), 1991
  • AB, Determinants of Mental Illness (Individually-Designed Major), University of California at Berkeley, 1983
  • None found
Quoted in:
Pro & Con Quotes: Should Prescription Drugs Be Advertised Directly to Consumers?