Sunday, October 28, 2007

Edwards Proposes Plan To Curb Drug Company Advertising

From The Edwards Campaign:

Arriving in New Hampshire today as part of a seven-day “Stand Strong” campaign, Senator John Edwards introduced proposals to stand up to drug companies to stop misleading drug advertising.

“The excessive costs of prescription drugs are straining family budgets and contributing to runaway health care costs,” said Edwards. “Since the government relaxed direct-to-consumer advertising rules in 1997, drug ads have nearly quadrupled to over $4 billion a year.

Edwards believes that new drugs should succeed by treating patients well and cost-effectively, not through lobbying and public relations efforts. To improve the quality of care and bring down drug costs, he will:

Delay New Ads to Put Safety First: Edwards will institute a two-year delay on consumer advertising of all new drugs.

Get Control with Real Oversight of Advertising: Edwards will give the Food and Drug Administration real power to prevent misleading drug ads by requiring the agency’s approval before drug companies can launch major ad campaigns and by increasing the penalties for drug companies that violate truth-in-advertising laws.

Require “Whole Truth” Disclosures: Edwards will improve drug makers’ disclosures to the public, requiring companies to tell the public the whole truth about side effects and how effective drugs are against placebos and existing alternatives.

Help Doctors Make Decisions Based on Evidence, Not Ads: Edwards will establish a non-profit or public organization to research the best methods of providing care.

Edwards would pay for these reforms primarily by repealing the Bush tax cuts for families making more than $200,000 a year. And to ensure that health care reform is a legislative priority, Edwards will submit legislation on the first day of his administration that ends health care coverage for the president, all members of Congress, and all senior political appointees in both the executive and legislative branches of government on July 20th, 2009 unless universal health care legislation that meets four specific, non-negotiable principles has been passed by that date.

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