The bill, which was presented by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Thomas, R-Calif., calls on the U.S. comptroller general to determine "to what extent" drug use rates have increased as a result of the advertising, and whether the increases have resulted in raising the cost of health care.
The study is also
The study would be due back within two years.
The GOP legislation will be discussed in two House committees this week and is expected to be passed by the House before July 4, but chances for action in the Senate appear slim.
Senate Democrats want a far bigger plan. The GOP prescription plan, which would cost $35 a month, calls for the government to pay 80% of the first $1,000 of drug costs and 50% of the next $1,000, with seniors paying the rest until reaching bills totaling $4,500. There would be a $250 deductible.
A Senate Democratic plan drops the deductible and would charge seniors $25 a month, but would require consumers pay $10 for a generic drug and $40 for brand name drugs.