Sen. Chipman introduces bill to ban prescription drug advertising
AUGUSTA — A bill from Sen. Ben Chipman, D-Portland, LD 1673,“An Act To Prohibit Prescription Drug Advertising,” received a public hearing before the Health Coverage, Insurance and Financial Services Committee on Wednesday.
“Pharmaceutical companies spend millions on advertising, ultimately driving up the cost being paid for by the consumer. The decision of which medications to use should be between medical professionals and the patient and not influenced by media or advertising,” said Sen. Chipman.
Advertising promotes brand-name pharmaceuticals over generic medication. Consumers are often not made aware of comparable medication with generic labeling and instead pay a premium on brand-name medication, all mass marketed through TV, radio and newspaper ads. LD 1673 would take advertising out of the process.
Smaller pharmaceutical companies cannot compete in a market where larger corporations can easily spend millions of dollars on advertising. LD 1673 would level the playing field for all pharmaceutical companies regardless of their size while eliminating the cost of advertising, which could lead to lowering the overall costs of prescription medication for Mainers.
“We are one of only two nations that allows advertising of prescription drugs on television,” said Bill Linnell, a former Emergency Medical Technician from Portland. “We have a health care crisis in our country, and the pharmaceutical industry is making it worse.”
The bill faces additional action in the Health Coverage, Insurance and Financial Services Committee.