A Prescription for Profit

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A Prescription for Profit In 2007, the pharmaceutical industry spent approximately $4.8 billion dollars a year advertising prescription drugs directly to the public (ProCon.org 2005). A study by two York University researchers estimates the U.S. pharmaceutical industry spends nearly twice as much on promotion as it does on research and development (York University, 2008). Why do they spend so much money marketing to the consumer? The simple answer is profit. Like any other business pharmaceutical companies are out to sell a product and make money. The primary concern of the pharmaceutical industry is not the welfare of the consumer but convincing them to take their drug. In order to eliminate this conflict of interest the pharmaceutical industry should be banned from directly marketing their products to the consumer. Direct-to-consumer advertising of drugs has been legal in the United States since 1985, but exploded in 1997 when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) relaxed the rules regarding disclosure of side-effects in infomercials (Calfee, 2002). Since that time the in...
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