July 26th, 2009
Lawmakers Seek to Curb Drug Commercials
By Natasha Singer
The New York Times
In the 1980s, Nancy Reagan told Americans to “Just Say No” to recreational drugs.
Now a handful of legislators are just saying no to TV commercials for prescription drugs. The politicians are taking aim at the 60-second spots that have made viewers familiar with maladies like male urinary urgency and deficient eyelashes — not to mention side effects like four-hour erections.
Representative James P. Moran, Democrat of Virginia, is sponsoring a House bill that would ban ads for prescription sexual aids like Viagra and Levitra from prime-time television, on decency grounds. Representative Henry A. Waxman, Democrat of California, has said he favors empowering the Food and Drug Administration to bar consumer advertisements for new drugs for an initial period after the F.D.A. approves them — until there has been more real-world experience with the medications.