Debate Over Advertising Prescription Drugs to Consumers Goes Online at New ProCon.org Website

SANTA MONICA, Calif., July 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- ProCon.org, a nonpartisan 501(c)3 nonprofit public charity dedicated to promoting critical thinking, created the new website www.prescriptiondrugs.procon.org to explore the core question "Should prescription drugs be advertised directly to consumers?"

Hundreds of often conflicting studies and articles have been published on whether direct to consumer (DTC) prescription drug ads help or harm public health. ProCon.org has reviewed much of this information and condensed it into a straightforward nonpartisan pro and con presentation.

Proponents of DTC prescription drug ads argue that the ads provide an educational benefit, encourage doctor visitation, reduce stigmas associated with certain medical conditions, comply with all laws, and encourage new drug development by helping to keep pharmaceutical companies profitable.

Opponents argue that DTC prescription drug ads persuade vs. educate, lead to hypochondria and overmedication, raise drug prices, and generally jeopardize public health by replacing medical information with marketing information.

The site's purpose is to help people think critically about this topic so they can make better decisions about DTC prescription drug advertising. The site contains a "Did You Know?" section, an overview of the issue, pro and con arguments, an image and video gallery, a reader survey, and a listing of all sources used.

Some interesting information presented on the website includes:

* <!-- cpurl -->Bayer Pharmaceuticals<!-- /cpurl --> sold heroin as an over the counter cough remedy in the early 1900s.

* The Food and Drug Administration began regulating prescription drug advertising in 1962.

* Every $1.00 spent on DTC prescription drug advertising yields about $4.20 in that drug's sales.

* In 2007, the pharmaceutical industry was estimated to be spending $4.8 billion annually in DTC prescription drug advertising.

* In 2008, the pharmaceutical industry was estimated to be a $291 billion industry.

About Us

ProCon.org is a 501(c)3 nonprofit public charity whose mission is "Promoting critical thinking, education, and informed citizenship by presenting controversial issues in a straightforward, nonpartisan primarily pro-con format."

All 21 ProCon.org websites are free of charge, require no registration, and contain no advertising. The websites have been referenced by over 120 media entities and used in over 540 schools in 48 states and 14 countries.

To see all ProCon.org topics, including prescription drug advertising, visit www.procon.org

  Contact:
  Kamy Akhavan, Managing Editor
  kamy@procon.org
  (310) 587-1407

Source: ProCon.org

CONTACT: Kamy Akhavan, Managing Editor, ProCon.org, +1-310-587-1407, kamy@procon.org

Web Site: http://www.procon.org/

Posted: July 2009

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