Should prescription drug ads be banned? | The Tylt

Dataviz
Real-time Voting
Should prescription drug ads be banned?
#BanDrugAds
#DrugAdsAreNecessary
#BanDrugAds

Today, drug companies spend $4 billion a year on ads to consumers. Since the FDA relaxed restrictions on drug advertising in 1997, the pharmaceutical industry increased spending on direct-to-consumer ads dramatically, from $166 million in 1993 to $5.2 billion in 2015. And those ads are working:

"Something like a third of consumers who've seen a drug ad have talked to their doctor about it," says Julie Donohue, a professor of public health at the University of Pittsburgh who is considered a leading expert on this subject. "About two-thirds of those have asked for a prescription. And the majority of people who ask for a prescription have that request honored."
imageSupportingMedia
#BanDrugAds

Prescription drug spending is the third biggest cost in our health care system. And spending grows annually every year—in a decade and a half, the use of prescription medication went up 71 percent. Why are these ads illegal nearly everywhere but here?

#DrugAdsAreNecessary

But some argue these ads "spread valuable educational information" and "serve as a public health service."

#DrugAdsAreNecessary

Proponents argue the ads inform patients about diseases and possible treatments, encourage people to seek medical advice, help remove the stigma associated with medical conditions, and provide needed sales revenue to fund costly research and development of new drugs.

imageSupportingMedia
#BanDrugAds

But many say these drugs are not making us healthier.

#BanDrugAds

And patient advocates say doctors should be the the leaders and decision-makers around prescribing medication, not patients who've seen for-profit companies' advertisements.

#DrugAdsAreNecessary

Pharmaceutical industry advocates argue that before direct-to-consumer drug advertising—conditions like depression, incontinence, and erectile dysfunction were taboo topics. Putting them on TV helped reduce the shame factor, empowering patients who might otherwise have gone untreated.

FINAL RESULTS
Politics
Should prescription drug ads be banned?
A festive crown for the winner
#BanDrugAds
#DrugAdsAreNecessary