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Ask Your Doctor if This Ad is Right for You

March 1, 2016

“As the volume and spending on health care ads skyrocket, health economists and doctors are raising concerns about the trend, which they say increases prices and encourages patients to seek out more expensive and, often, inappropriate treatment.”
Reports The New York Times:
  • Health care ads “tend to drive patients to the latest expensive treatments and patented drugs” when, frequently, equally effective generic drugs are available at a fraction of the cost.
  • In spite of Food and Drug Administration medical advertising rules aimed at ensuring the provision of accurate and balanced information, “clever marketing departments have danced around” those rules, most of which were set in the 1980s and 1990s, before the health care advertising industry took off.
  • While drug ads are at least regulated by the F.D.A., hospital ads are not.

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