Edwards Introduces Proposals to Stop Misleading Drug Marketing by Standing Up to Drug Companies

Instead of defending healthcare lobbyists and drug companies, Edwards is standing up for the American people as part of seven-day “Stand Strong” campaign

(Manchester, NH) – Arriving in New Hampshire today as part of a seven-day “Stand Strong” campaign, Senator John Edwards introduced proposals to stand up to drug companies to stop misleading drug advertising.

“The excessive costs of prescription drugs are straining family budgets and contributing to runaway health care costs,” said Edwards. “Since the government relaxed direct-to-consumer advertising rules in 1997, drug ads have nearly quadrupled to over $4 billion a year.

“With such aggressive and often misleading drug company marketing, it’s too easy for advertising – instead of doctors or proven results – to influence families’ health decisions. But the FDA has been an ineffective watchdog, reviewing only a small fraction of ads. It’s time to stand up to the drug companies and their lobbyists who have rigged the system. It’s time to stand strong for families, patients, and doctors.”

Edwards believes that new drugs should succeed by treating patients well and cost-effectively, not through lobbying and public relations efforts. To improve the quality of care and bring down drug costs, he will:

Delay New Ads to Put Safety First: Edwards will institute a two-year delay on consumer advertising of all new drugs.

Get Control with Real Oversight of Advertising: Edwards will give the Food and Drug Administration real power to prevent misleading drug ads by requiring the agency’s approval before drug companies can launch major ad campaigns and by increasing the penalties for drug companies that violate truth-in-advertising laws.

Require “Whole Truth” Disclosures: Edwards will improve drug makers’ disclosures to the public, requiring companies to tell the public the whole truth about side effects and how effective drugs are against placebos and existing alternatives.

Help Doctors Make Decisions Based on Evidence, Not Ads: Edwards will establish a non-profit or public organization to research the best methods of providing care.

Edwards’ proposals to stop misleading drug advertising build on his plan to provide universal health care for all Americans. Edwards was the first presidential candidate to propose a plan for quality, affordable health care for every man, woman and child in America. Under his plan, the government will make insurance affordable through new tax credits and by leading the way toward more cost-effective care. Businesses will cover their employees or help pay their premiums. New regional “Health Care Markets” will give individuals, families and businessespurchasing power and a choice of quality plans, including one public plan. Finally, once these steps have been taken, all American residents will be required to take responsibility and get insurance.

Edwards would pay for these reforms primarily by repealing the Bush tax cuts for families making more than $200,000 a year. And to ensure that health care reform is a legislative priority, Edwards will submit legislation on the first day of his administration that ends health care coverage for the president, all members of Congress, and all senior political appointees in both the executive and legislative branches of government on July 20th, 2009 unless universal health care legislation that meets four specific, non-negotiable principles has been passed by that date.

During the week-long “Stand Strong” campaign, Edwards is traveling across Iowa and New Hampshire to discuss his bold and detailed proposals for health care reform, smart and safe trade policies, ending the war in Iraq and restoring America’s moral authority in the world. One of the highlights of the week was a major policy address he gave on Friday in Des Moines on corporate responsibility. Edwards called for updatingthe social compact with hard-working Americans to protect them from abuse by corporations and help them achieve financial security in the new economy.

“Real strength comes from standing up for the millions of American families who don’t have a voice,” said Edwards. “We need a leader in the White House who has the strength and courage to stand up and fight for regular Americans rather than someone who defends the lobbyists that are destroying the better America we all believe in.”

Further details of Edwards’ proposal for “Standing Up to Drug Companies to Stop Misleading Drug Marketing