Tell Congress to Ban TV Drug Ads

A bill was just introduced in the House banning advertising of new drugs and devices for the first three years on the market. It also requires TV drug and device ads include a toll-free number, so we can easily report serious side effects to the FDA.

This bill will really improve the safety of prescription drugs. The first few years a drug is on the market is when harmful side effects are likely to emerge. Banning ad campaigns will keep a new drug from being overused until its risks are better known.

And telling us how to report serious side effects in TV ads will get important safety information to the FDA more quickly.

Tell your member of Congress to support this important bill now. The momentum is growing to do something about TV drug and device ads thanks to you!

Subject: Please support H.R. 6151

Dear [Decision Maker],

Please support legislation to help protect me from the risks of new drugs and medical devices.

I urge you to cosponsor and support H.R. 6151, The Responsibility in Drug and Device Advertising Act of 2008, a bill introduced by Representatives DeLauro and Emerson that would place a three-year moratorium on advertisements for new drugs and devices.

The first few years a drug or device is on the market is the period when previously unrecognized risks and side effects are likely to become known. A three-year moratorium on direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising for new drugs and devices will allow doctors to evaluate their use in patients, permit further safety evaluations and adverse event surveillance, and minimize any inappropriate overuse.

The bill will also require a toll-free number in TV drug and device ads to alert consumers where to report a serious adverse event related to the use of a drug or device. By facilitating consumer reporting of serious adverse events, the FDA, physicians and patients will have better information for fairly evaluating drug risks.

Placing a moratorium on direct-to-consumer advertising until more risks become known about new drugs and medical devices, and requiring a phone number in TV ads for drugs and devices to report serious side-effects, will be a great step forward for patient safety.

Please support H.R. 6151 by cosponsoring it, and urging that it move forward for a vote.


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