Doctors want to ban drug ads on TV. Are they focused on the wrong problem?

The American Medical Association wants to ban TV ads for drugs, correctly fearing they lead to overmedication with expensive new drugs.

But the way bigger problem may be harder for them too see:

Vox: Doctors want to ban drug ads on TV. Are they focused on the wrong problem?

Drug companies spend much more money on advertising to doctors, bending the truth as much as they can get away with (often even lying and getting caught).


  1. Bob Niland
    Agree on the pitching to MDs being the larger problem, and that was going on even before Rx ads were common on TV here (and I'm speaking of the US). The AMA ban would do nothing for that back-channel problem. If the AMA are proposing legislation, that has serious 1st Amendment issues here.

    It's mostly an education thing, and as long as official diets are lethal, and major segments of medical dogma are upside down, it's hardly worth attempting to fix.

    "As Seen on TV" is not an endorsement - it's a warning.

    I cannot recall, in the last several decades, ever seeing a TV ad for an Rx med, OTC med or supplement that I now consider to be anything anyone ever needed. For those preparations not completely worthless or dangerous, what they do is merely manage the needless consequences of the food-like substances that appeared in the neighboring TV ads.

    People need to grow a lot more skepticism about Big Pharma, as well as learn how to interview their own MDs.

  2. Chris D
    The purpose of Rx ads is to generate awareness of the drug by the general public, not to sell to them directly. The general public is less likely to be skeptical of and more comfortable taking a drug they know of, regardless of it's actual effects or usefulness. Few people walk into a doctor's office and ask to be put on a statin. However, my doctor suggested I should go on a statin based solely on my total cholesterol number (227) without examining other risk factors or suggesting other lifestyle interventions first. He already had one picked out that was ideal for my age group and risk factors. I'm not even middle aged and the Doc couldn't wait to find an excuse to put me on a statin.

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