CBO Report Shows Hundreds Of Millions Spent On Direct Marketing Of Drugs To Consumers
The Congressional Budget Office released an "interesting report" on on how "pharmaceutical companies market prescription drugs, a subject that has received some scrutiny during the debate on ways to control health care spending," The New York Times reports.
Among the most widely direct-to-consumer marketed medicines are erectile dysfunction aids, bone resorption inhibitors and a bevy of sleep aids, antidepressants, statins and antipsychotics. "Perhaps counterintuitively, the budget office also found that drugs with little competition are likely to be marketed to consumers far more aggressively than drugs with a lot of competition." Advertisements for one drug may benefit competitors making another in the same class, and having a monopoly on a drug means more control over its price, making advertising more effective with regards to cost (Rampell, 12/2).