FTC Supports Federal DTC Ad Inquiry

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The Federal Trade Commission is supporting efforts by the Food and Drug Administration to survey patients and doctors to determine the effects of direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical advertising.


FDA officials are trying to determine the potential benefits and harms caused by DTC ads. In comments submitted Thursday to the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, the FTC proposed additional inquiries into DTC effects on insurance and drug costs.


Such surveys could help officials evaluate whether DTC ads lead to lower prescription drug prices, the FTC said.


In June, the American Medical Association called for increased disclosures in DTC drug ads due to fears that the ads drive up drug prices by convincing consumers to request brand-name drugs when cheaper generics suffice.


Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America has stated that DTC drug ads empower consumers by helping them make their own healthcare choices.


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