Doctors' Association Takes Stand on Drug Ads

June 14, 2006

The American Medical Association today wrapped up its annual meeting in Chicago by taking a stand against drug advertisements.

Some doctors say the ads probably do more harm than good.

Dr. Jennifer Earvolino from Chicago's Rush University says this is especially true when a patient meets with a new physician.

"They kind of come in with a particular bias that they need that medicine and it may not in fact be the right medication for that patient," Earvolino says. "And sometimes it's difficult to undo that impression left the advertisement."

Now the AMA wants federal regulators to require a delay before new drugs are advertised to give doctors more time to learn about the drugs. And when the ads do start appearing, the association wants them to provide a balanced picture of the medication.

A national group representing drug companies says the AMA's report looks similar to the industry's own guidelines, and welcomed further discussion on the issue.