New Nadler-Crowley Bill May Cause Fatigue, Nausea, Dry Mouth and Increased Heart Rate... For Drug Companies!

Jul 10, 2002 Issues: Health Care

WASHINGTON - From Claritin to Allegra, Americans are inundated everyday by television commercials advertising prescription drugs.  What most Americans may not know is that these ads are subsidized with their taxpayer dollars.  All that would end if a new bill, “The Say No To Drug Ads Act,” introduced today by Reps. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Joseph Crowley (D-NY), passes.

“The Say No To Drug Ads Act” would prohibit pharmaceutical companies from taking a tax deduction for the ads they create.  According to a Kaiser Family Foundation study, in 2000 the pharmaceutical industry spent over $2.5 billion on all forms of direct-to-consumer advertising.

“These ads -- many of them deceiving and without adequate information about the risks associated with them -- convince consumers that they need a particular medication,” said Rep. Nadler.  “Consumers pressure their doctors to prescribe the latest ‘wonder drug,’ whether they need it or not, and drug sales go through the roof.  By artificially increasing the demand for their drugs, the pharmaceutical companies are able to keep prices high, gouging our constituents.”

“Our bill wouldn’t forbid the ads, but it would make the drug companies run them on their own dime,” added Rep. Nadler.  “Maybe it will cause drug company CEOs an upset stomach, but it will allow taxpayers to sleep easier.”

“Why should Americans help pay for the slick ad campaigns of multi-billion dollar drug companies - the same companies that in turn, charge American seniors nearly twice what they charge Canadian seniors for identical medications?  This is corporate welfare at its worst.  The ‘Just Say No to Drug Ads Act’ is the right prescription for American consumers.  Maybe if the big drug companies were forced to foot the full bill for their multi-billion dollar ads, they would think twice before misleading patients,” said Rep. Crowley.

Rep. Nadler has served in Congress since 1992.  He represents the 8th Congressional District of New York, which includes parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn.  Congressman Crowley was first elected to Congress in 1998.  He represents New York's 7th Congressional District.