Effects Of Prescription Abuse On The United States

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The United States is one of only three nations (New Zealand, the United States, and Brazil) that permits direct to consumer advertising. Even so, this practice was not permitted by the FDA until the late eighties, and changing the regulations on pharmaceutical advertising required extensive lobbying from drug companies. Direct to consumer advertising makes unnecessary medication more likely to be prescribe to patients by doctors. Pharmaceutical ads often make bold claims and give the patient unrealistic expectations, and may also lead you to believe that a drug is effective against or indicated for a condition that it is not. These ads can even have a negative effect on the relationship between a doctor and patient or result in patients paying more for their medications. Newer drugs (which are the ones advertised) can be less safe than their alternatives. And aggressive advertising both to doctors and patients contributes to problems with prescription abuse. Direct to consumer advertising is an adverse practice that does not benefit the patient, so it should not be allowed. In 2015, the American Medical Association called for a ban on direct to consumer marketing of prescription drugs and medical devices and encouraged federal regulation to ban the practice; this is likely in response to a rapid increase in the amount of money drug companies are spending on advertisements in recent years. However, any effort to change the laws regarding prescription advertisements would likely receive huge backlash from drug companies who spend millions in lobbying. And many fear that testing the extent that the first amendment applies to pharmaceutical advertising could jeopardize the FDA’s ability to regulate drug company advertisements in the f... ... middle of paper ... ...nts do not do this in a way that benefits the patient. After seeing an advertisement people visit their doctors because they believe they are afflicted with an illness after self assessing their symptoms in comparison with those laid out in the commercial. Instead of being assessed for illness by their doctor and allowing the doctor to determine a diagnoses they tell the doctor what they have, and if it seems to fit the diagnosis criteria the doctor is far more likely to make that diagnoses than they would otherwise be and ignore other possible diagnoses that must first be ruled out. The patient simply does not have the training and education that a doctor does, and is not best able to make a diagnosis for themselves. Direct to consumer pharmaceutical advertising does not inform patients in a meaningful way. It does make drug companies rich at the expense of patients.

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