NEWS RELEASE
For More Information Contact: Gary Ruskin (202)588-7746
For Immediate Release: January 23rd, 2006

StopDrugAds.org: A New Website Against DTC Prescription Drug Advertising

Today, Commercial Alert launched the website StopDrugAds.org (http://www.stopdrugads.org), devoted to ending direct-to-consumer prescription drug advertising in the United States.  The purpose of the website is to educate the public about the dangers of prescription drug advertising, and to mobilize thousands of Americans to voice their opposition to the ads.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is accepting public comment on DTC prescription drug advertising until February 28th.  The stopdrugads.org website says that is not the proper role of drug executives to tell Americans what drugs to buy, and it encourages visitors to send comments to the FDA in opposition to DTC drug marketing.

In effect, drug companies are practicing medicine without a license, and that should be illegal,Ӕ said Gary Ruskin, executive director of Commercial Alert. WeӒve got to halt prescription drug advertising before the next Vioxx tragedy happens.

On October 27th, Commercial Alert released a statement from 211 professors from U.S. medical schools that “direct-to-consumer marketing of prescription drugs should be prohibited.” The statement’s endorsers include prominent medical school professors from Harvard, Johns Hopkins, University of Pennsylvania, Columbia, Stanford, Yale, Duke, University of California, San Francisco and other top medical schools, along with two former editors-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine.

The American public has little trust for the pharmaceutical industry, and believes it should be more closely regulated. According to a Harris Poll in November, only 9% of American adults believe that the pharmaceutical industry is “generally honest and trustworthy.” Fifty-one percent believe that the pharmaceutical industry “should be more regulated by the government.”

Commercial Alert is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to keep the commercial culture within its proper sphere, and to prevent it from exploiting children and subverting the higher values of family, community, environmental integrity and democracy. For more information, see our website at: http://www.commercialalert.org.