Drug ads driving up costs for consumers

The Gazette Opinion Staff
Published: February 1 2014 | 11:20 am - Updated: 29 March 2014 | 2:59 am in

Have you noticed the number of television commercials for prescription drugs? Between 5 and 10 p.m., I counted 30 commercials for prescription drugs on one network (so about 90 on the three networks). According to Advertising Age, a one-minute commercial costs $50,000.

In one evening, big pharma companies are spending $4.5 million to persuade us to buy a product that we canít get without a prescription. During a year, they will spend $1.6 billion. If I can get my doctor to write a prescription because I saw a TV commercial, then I need a new doctor.

Big pharma will recover this expense by adding it to our costs. This will increase the cost of prescription drugs at the pharmacy and also the premiums we pay for prescription drug insurance. There are thousands of people who canít afford their prescription drugs. If the cost of producing prescription drugs went down by $1.6 billion, do you think it would have some effect on the price at the pharmacy counter?

Big pharma gives a lot of cash to Congress, and Congress will not want to give up that loot. So we need to nag our elected folks to do the right thing and watch out for their constituents ó us.

Michael Shea



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