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Capitol Health Call
July 13, 2011

Ad Moratorium

JAMA. 2011;306(2):145. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.924

Legislators have considered restricting direct-to-consumer advertising for a certain period, usually 2 years, for drugs newly approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Concerns have arisen that such advertising encourages unnecessary use of a drug and may boost sales of a medication before longer-term safety issues emerge.

But a brief by the Congressional Budget Office finds the issue more complicated than presumed (http://1.usa.gov/lEeZJP). The brief, released in May, assessed the consequences of a hypothetical moratorium and suggests that drug makers would probably expand their marketing to physicians, that the number of prescriptions filled would probably decrease for some drugs but not for others, and that drug prices would not be greatly affected.

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