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© Provided by AFP Members of the American Medical Association called November 17 for a ban on direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription drugs

 

MSN –  Members of a major US medical association called Tuesday for a ban on advertising prescription drugs to consumers, saying the practice helps drive up prices and harms patient health.

The American Medical Association, which has more than 200,000 members, voted to urge an end to direct-to-consumer advertising of drugs and medical devices during a meeting in Atlanta, Georgia.

“Today’s vote in support of an advertising ban reflects concerns among physicians about the negative impact of commercially-driven promotions, and the role that marketing costs play in fueling escalating drug prices,” said AMA Board Chair-elect Patrice Harris.

About $4.5 billion is spent promoting prescription drugs in the United States annually, and many health experts say soaring drug costs are making some treatments for cancer, hepatitis C and other illnesses out of reach for some of the nation’s most vulnerable people.

 

“In a worst-case scenario, patients forego necessary treatments when drugs are too expensive,” said Harris.

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