Physicians call for DTC ads to include retail prices

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As part of an effort to address the rising cost of prescription drugs, some members of the American Medical Association are calling for the inclusion of retail prices in direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical ads.

The influential physician's group has taken issue with both DTC advertising and drug prices in the past, most recently urging a ban on DTC ads in late 2015.

See also: What doctors have to say about those DTC ads

This resolution calls for the AMA to advocate to the FDA, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Federal Communications Commission — each of which regulates drug advertising to some degree — to require pharmaceutical companies to include the prices in their DTC ads. 

At its annual meeting in Chicago this weekend, the AMA members said they will call for increased affordability of prescription drugs — specifically naloxone, used to treat opioid overdoses —- and a resolution mandating that physicians act ethically when engaging with the media.

“For physicians in the media, then, navigating successfully among the potentially overlapping roles of clinician, expert consultant, journalist, or (for some) media personality poses challenges,” the AMA said in the resolution document. “Being clear about what role(s) they are playing at any given time is crucial. So is being aware of how media content they create or the media presence they have blurs the lines of medicine, journalism, and entertainment.”

See also: Patients are taking on DTC ads. How will drugmakers respond?

The 10 proposals will be considered by the AMA's House of Delegates, the organization's policy arm.

John Kamp, executive director of the Coalition for Healthcare Communication, said the proposed requirement would likely be “a violation of the First Amendment.”

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