Last updated on: 4/9/2010 | Author: ProCon.org

Peter Lurie, MD, MPH Biography

Title:
Former Deputy Director of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group
Position:
Con to the question "Should Prescription Drugs Be Advertised Directly to Consumers?"
Reasoning:

“Like all interventions in health care, DTC advertising should be evaluated by comparing risks and benefits in the context of available or potentially available alternatives. On balance, we believe that the clearly demonstrated adverse effects of DTC advertising outweigh the still undemonstrated effects that might be beneficial. Where there is any hint of a beneficial effect, we find that there are better ways of accomplishing it…

[D]irect-to-consumer advertisements bear little relationship to public health needs. New and expensive drugs, those for diseases that are bothersome and incurable, are the ones that we see advertised. Only 14 percent of sales for the top 50 DTC-advertised drugs are for acute conditions, and only one of the top 50 DTC-advertised drugs was an antibiotic, presumably because people are quickly cured and there is no need for a refill…

[T]he price of health care is being driven up. Patients are being induced to request new, more expensive medications instead of equally effective, older generic ones.”

Testimony, US Senate Special Committee On Aging titled “The Ipact of Direct to Consumer Drug Advertising on Senior’s Health and Health Care Costs,” aging.senate.gov, Sep. 29, 2005

Theoretical Expertise Ranking:
Experts
Individuals with MDs, DOs, PhDs, MPHs, or equivalent advanced degrees in fields relevant to pharmaceutical drugs and public health. Also top-level government officials (such as foreign leaders, US presidents, Founding Fathers, Supreme Court Justices, members of legislative bodies, cabinet members, military leaders, etc.) with positions relevant to pharmaceutical drugs and public health.
Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Advisor, Office of Policy, US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
  • Former Deputy Director, Public Citizen’s Health Research Group
  • Former Assistant Research Scientist, Institute for Social Research
  • Former Assistant Professor, Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of California, San Francisco
  • Former Professor, University of Michigan
  • Former Member, FDA’s Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory Committee
  • Completed residencies in Family Practice at the University of California at San Francisco and in Preventive Medicine at the University of California at Berkeley
Education:
  • MPH, University of California at Berkeley
  • MD, Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Other:
  • None found
Quoted in:
Pro & Con Quotes: Should Prescription Drugs Be Advertised Directly to Consumers?