Senate Passes Bill with Fewer Restrictions on Drug Advertising in Magazines
Legislative Victory for Direct-to-Consumer Pharmaceutical Advertising
In what the Magazine Publishers of America is calling the greatest legislative victory for direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical advertising in over a decade, the U.S. Senate has passed a bill that would allow pharmaceutical companies to continue to advertise in magazines without “harmful and unconstitutional” restrictions contained in early versions of the bill.
The bill, H.R. 3580, had already passed the House, and is expected to be signed by President Bush. According to the MPA, the bill’s original language would have given the federal government the power to ban so-called DTC advertising during the first two years (Senate version) or three years (House version) after a drug is approved by Food and Drug Administration. It would have also given the government the power to require that ads for certain drugs be cleared by the FDA before they could be run.
The MPA has been part of a coalition of media and advertising groups for several years working to protect direct-to-consumer advertising.
Why does the MPA care so much? Perhaps because the pharmaceutical category accounted for $1.6 billion in advertising revenue for the magazine industry last year.