Drug Companies Promoting Drugs for Uses not Approved by US Government

In line with articles from the September 20, 2000 New York Times, retail drug spending has seen a significant increase because of drug companies advertising straight to the general public. This is based on new research published from the National Institute for Health Care Management, a nonprofit, nonpartisan group that conducts research on health care issues. The study stated that, "25 of the most heavily advertised drugs accounted for greater than 40 % of the rise in retail drug spending this past year."

The research disclosed that spending on consumer advertising went from $1.3 billion in 1998, to $1.8 billion in 1999. This ended in a rise in consumer spending for retail drugs from $93.4 billion in 1998 to $111.1 billion in 1999. Consumer advertising of drug products has been created possible since the Food and Drug Administration relaxed the guidelines on direct marketing of prescription drugs to consumers in 1997. The NY Times article proceeded to state, "The study failed to discuss the precision of drug advertising. But in the last 3 years, the government has repeatedly reprimanded drug companies after finding false or misleading claims in TV commercials and magazine advertisements." The content concluded with the following; "The F.D.A. has admonished companies about commercials advertising drugs for allergies, asthma, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, hair loss and sexually transmitted diseases, amongst others. On many occasions, the government said, the advertisements violated the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act because they overstated the advantages of a particular drug, minimized the risks or falsely suggested that one drug was superior to another. The F.D.A. also discovered that a lot of companies have been promoting their drugs for uses not authorized by the government."

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