Physicians back DTC ban

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A solid majority of doctors— 64%—say there should be some sort of moratorium on DTC advertising, according to a survey by TNS Healthcare.

Almost half of physicians— 44%—would approve of a moratorium of two years or more, and 27% believe there should be no DTC ads at all.

Among specialists, cardiologists were the most hostile to DTC, with 73% favoring some type of moratorium, and endocrinologists close behind at 69%. Just 55% of neurologists and 60% of gastroenterologists agreed.

The survey found strong support among physicians for stricter policies around claims and product cautions and more severe penalties for false and misleading ads.

The survey of 1,002 physicians and 251 consumers found physician attitudes toward DTC far harsher than those of the general public.

Only 44% of consumers favored a moratorium on drug ads, with 41% backing a two-year moratorium and 32% saying there should be no drug advertising at all.

Physicians and consumers were in agreement that the FDA is falling down on the job of policing DTC, with three-quarters of both groups saying the agency has failed to adequately vet ads.—

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