Pro to the question "Should Prescription Drugs Be Advertised Directly to Consumers?"
"Critics constantly call for a ban on DTC. The most common claim is that DTC raises treatment cost because advertised branded drugs are often not better than generics, lifestyle changes, or other non-prescription remedies. They also say DTC creates imagined disease categories which cause people to demand expensive treatments for questionable conditions. They argue the DTC drugs overstate benefits without properly giving the risks. Critics bemoan the fact that the doctor-patient relationship is harmed by patient initiated discussions and demand for a drug. None of the above is borne out by the facts but the arguments continue to have traction in Congress.
Ok. Let's assume enough Congressmen agree and enact a ban that The Supreme Court says is constitutional. DTC is now banned. Is the health care system better off?...
The best solution is to let information flow for DTC and other items with viable alternatives. There are plenty of sources of information on drugs, many of which are critical of branded drugs and offer alternatives. Government is free to publish clinical results that can refute claims of brands. Managed care can play one branded drug against another to get a great price. Doctors can decide if the branded drug really is better for their patients. Patients can check the Internet or ask friends if the drug works well. Putting the DTC information genie back in the bottle seems a bad alternative after 13 years of mass DTC availability."
"A World Without DTC?," www.dtcperspectives.com, Feb. 19, 2010