Stark Introduces Bill To Require Balanced Claims in Direct-to-Consumer Rx Drug Advertisements
Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.) on Tuesday introduced a bill (HR 3155) that would disallow corporate tax deductions for drug companies that have direct-to-consumer advertisements that do not portray their products in a "fair and accurate" light, the Oakland Tribune reports. In a release, he said, "Today's pharmaceutical ads present glowing testimonials for their products as wonder drugs while drastically downplaying their products' serious risks or side effects" (Oakland Tribune, 9/25). The bill, called the "Fair Balance Prescription Drug Advertisement Act," would require print ads to display the positive and negative effects of a drug in equal typeface and space on the same or on facing pages. It would require television and radio ads to give equal airtime and volume level to descriptions of a drug's pros and cons. Under the bill, companies that run ads not meeting the criteria would not be eligible for an advertising tax deduction (Stark release, 9/23). The bill is supported by the California Public Employees' Retirement System, the nation's second-largest purchaser of health care, according to the Tribune (Oakland Tribune, 9/25).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.