Sen. Kohl calls for backup on policing device ads

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Sen. Herb Kohl
Sen. Herb Kohl
Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI) said DTC ads for devices should be regulated just as much as those for drugs and called on his colleague in the House, Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI), to work with him toward that end.

Kohl chairs the Senate Special Committee on Aging, which recently held hearings on device ads aimed at consumers. Stupak chairs the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, which has held hearings on DTC advertising for drugs.

“I'm aware that your subcommittee staff has done outstanding work in uncovering deceptive and misleading DTC ads sponsored by the drug industry, which has spent billions of dollars on such marketing efforts during the past decade or so,” Kohl wrote to Stupak on Friday. “We would welcome any further exchange of information with the subcommittee on this important matter, and we stand ready to work with you and your able professional staff in addressing these DTC advertising issues in a cooperative and bicameral manner.”

In the September hearings into device ads, Kohl pronounced himself “prepared to further examine the need for possible moratoriums” on advertising for new devices.

Stupak's office, citing “700 billion distractions,” said today the congressman had not yet replied to Kohl but would do so later this week. Given the two Democrats' shared hostility toward drug industry advertising, it is likely to be affirmative.

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