Fifty-one percent of AdAge.com voters think Big Pharma should embrace a voluntary moratorium on advertising new drugs. The remaining 49% of over 700 respondents say the large pharmaceutical companies should not follow Bristol-Myers Squibb's lead in abandoning direct-to-consumer advertising in a drug's first year on the market.
"To protect consumers from themselves, direct-to-consumer advertising should be restricted. Too often, they come into their physicians' offices asking for these drugs to be prescribed because they saw them on TV or read about them in a weekly magazine. ... The medical community should not be coerced in any way to prescribe drugs that can harm the consumer."
-Beatrice Brennan/registered nurse/Philadelphia
"Consumers deserve to know what their choices are. For every person who may be misled, there are many people whose lives will be improved or saved! And it's not like you can buy the drugs directly-the doctor is the gatekeeper."
-Barry Kessel/chief client officer/ Wunderman/New York
"We are responsible to be informed patients. However, TV commercials and magazine ads tell us there's a miracle drug for all that ails you: obesity, impotence, arthritis, bladder control. ... I vote thumbs up for informational ads; thumbs down for the hype we most often see."
-Frank Stephens/managing editor/Valley Living Magazine/ Sacramento, Calif.