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In Reply. —
There is no question that the pharmaceutical industry spends large amounts of money promoting prescription medication. Some estimate about $5 billion is expended each year on pharmaceutical marketing and advertising. Dr Joseph suggests that this expenditure adds to the cost of pharmaceuticals. Indeed, it must. However, it would be incorrect to assume that there are altogether no societal benefits to this expenditure.The rapid adoption of new therapies often is directly attributable to promotional activities of the industry, and some experts contend that advertising is a cost-effective mechanism for communicating important product information. Although some countries limit the amount of money a drug company can spend on advertising, in a free market each company sets its own promotional budget.The FDA's legal mandate is to ensure that the information contained in pharmaceutical promotions is not false or misleading. The agency has no legal authority to limit drug
Kessler DA. The FDA and Drug Marketing Expenditures-Reply. JAMA. 1991;265(12):1528. doi:10.1001/jama.1991.03460120042028