Information Please

  • by: |
  • 06/20/2007
We've never understood the theory behind a time-specific ban on advertising for newly approved medicines -- because we've never understood how less information makes any medicine safer.

So we're glad that such clearly political moves were resoundingly defeated in yesterday's Energy and Commerce mark-up. Bad for partisan politicians. Good for the public health.

According to Reuters, "Legislation meant to improve the government's drug safety oversight cleared a U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee on Tuesday without a controversial limit on television advertisements. Lawmakers removed language that would have allowed the health secretary to ban TV commercials for a new drug for up to three years if necessary to protect the public health.

Instead, members voted 23-9 to give the U.S. Food and Drug Administration power to fine companies $250,000 for running a false or misleading advertisement aimed at consumers.

Backers of that approach, written by New York Democratic Rep. Edolphus Towns, said an advertising ban would have violated constitutional protections of free speech.

I don't like the drug ads on television late at night .... They bug me. But I also recognize that sometimes things that bug me are protected under the Constitution, said Rep. Heather Wilson, a New Mexico Republican"

Ah, sanity.

Center for Medicine in the Public Interest is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization promoting innovative solutions that advance medical progress, reduce health disparities, extend life and make health care more affordable, preventive and patient-centered. CMPI also provides the public, policymakers and the media a reliable source of independent scientific analysis on issues ranging from personalized medicine, food and drug safety, health care reform and comparative effectiveness.

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