Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist wants pharmaceutical companies to restrict direct-to-consumer advertising for the first two years a drug is on the market.
“[R]esearch evidence indicates that this blitz in direct marketing has unwittingly led to inappropriate prescribing, which most importantly can compromise patient safety and care,” said Frist.
But wait a minute; these drugs aren’t available without a doctor’s prescription anyway. Isn’t it reasonable to expect physicians to use their professional judgment in prescribing rather than telling drug companies they can’t advertise FDA approved products?
A better proposal might be to require physicians to take Continuing Medical Education courses in understanding pharmaceutical sales and marketing practices and in how to deal with patients who come in asking for a prescription drug they saw on TV.July 1, 2005