A bill (H.R. 4565) has been introduced by U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro (CT, D-3) that would place a three-year moratorium on direct-to-consumer (DTC) drug advertising of newly approved prescription drugs.
The bill would prohibit ads published in magazines and newspapers, and those broadcast through television or radio. It also provides an exception to the moratorium through the possibility of a waiver, if the drug in question is a breakthrough drug with favorable value to public health.
DTC drug advertising became legal in 1997, with the United States joining New Zealand as the only two countries in the world to allow the practice.
Rep. DeLauro claims that a prohibition of DTC advertising would help fight the rising cost of prescription drugs and protect consumers from misleading information. Detractors say the bill would undermine the critical role that advertising plays in the democratization of knowledge and information in our society. In addition, the proposed legislation raises very serious First Amendment concerns and flies in the face of several court cases.
MichBio will likely find this legislation on its policy agenda, especially as it participates in the upcoming annual BIO Capitol Hill Fly-In in mid-April.