Washington — The American Medical Association (AMA) is urging the government to force pharmaceutical companies to delay advertising of new prescription drugs directly to consumers until physicians have time to review and study the drugs for safety and effectiveness.
The AMA wants the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to impose rules that would require “a temporary moratorium” between a drug’s approval and the start of a consumer ad campaign, particularly TV commercials. The AMA contends that such a move would benefit both patients and physicians, and that companies could take part voluntarily with some coordination oversight from their trade associations. Should drug companies not agree to a voluntary moratorium, the government could step in and require compliance.
The FDA does not require a moratorium, but some federal lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have shown interest in such a measure. There are currently no bills in Congress addressing the issue.