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Capitol Health Call
June 11, 2008

Consumer Drug Ads

JAMA. 2008;299(22):2620. doi:10.1001/jama.299.22.2620-d

Members of the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations (part of the Committee on Energy and Commerce) heard testimony on May 8 to help them determine whether legislation to limit or eliminate direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription drugs is needed.

At the hearing, Nancy Nielsen, MD, president-elect of the American Medical Association, called for better federal oversight of such advertisements. “Direct-to-consumer ads often portray drugs through rose-colored glasses by including more information about a drug's benefits than risks,” said Nielsen in a press release. “Imbalances in these ads can diminish patient understanding of certain drug risks and increase the need for an ongoing dialogue between patients and physicians about the benefits and risks of prescription drugs.”

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