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Edwards Wants Action On Drug Ads

Democratic presidential contender John Edwards says that drug companies should have to wait at least two years before hawking new products direct to consumers. On the stump in New Hampshire, the former U.S. Senator from North Carolina is touting a plan to crack down on what he considers misleading drug ads and notes annual spending on DTC ads has almost quadrupled to $4 billion since the government relaxed ad rules 10 years ago.

Big Pharma spends double on marketing and administration as it does on research, Edwards charges. A two-year delay would keep TV ads from selling consumers on drugs that haven't been tested as safe. Plus, he would like to require drug companies to get Food and Drug Administration approval before rolling out big campaigns. His plan includes stiffer penalties for firms that violate truth-in-advertising laws and would require them to disclose more information about a drug's side effects and effectiveness.

That would make sure "salesmanship is not trumping the facts, so people learn what the real risks are associated with these drugs," Edwards says.



Read the whole story at Associated Press via Boston Globe »

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