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September 10, 1982

Drug Company Advertising to the Public

JAMA. 1982;248(10):1163. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330100013006

A recent broadcast from a local radio station included a brief interview of a physician by a reporter regarding a newly released drug for allergy sufferers. It was an informative discussion with the barest mention of the name of the drug itself. I missed the related article in the newspaper the next morning, but none of my patients did. A bold headline on an inside page proclaimed that the newly released drug represented a major medical break-through for the treatment of allergies. By that afternoon my nurses received more than two dozen calls from patients wanting to switch to the new drug. In that week another 18 calls were handled and six office visits were made for the express purpose of asking about this new miracle. In totaling the first week's effect, I found that I had spent about 3 1/2 hours on the telephone and 1 1/2 hours in