Food and drug lawyers at a Washington media briefing in
January contended that with Democrats controlling Congress and potentially
taking the White House this year, drug companies' worst fears about federal and
state legislation regulating drug promotion will become reality. They spoke at
Washington Legal Foundation session titled Health Product Promotion: Will New
Rules, Greater Disclosure Chill Education and Free Speech?
All three speakers expressed concern that too much attention
and resources are being devoted to regulating drug promotion when there is
little evidence that prescribers are improperly influenced by promo activities.
Marc Scheineson (Alston & Bird) said the perceived high cost of drugs is
responsible for much of the attack on drug promotion. “No direct connection has
been found between marketing costs and drug costs,” he declared. “If drug
companies voluntarily lowered drug prices, all this interest in promotion would
Scheineson said the
industry is one of the most heavily regulated industries. He said evidence is
lacking that docs prescribe drugs based on their relationships with drug