..::: NEWS RELEASE
..::: JUNE 23, 2005
Do the Math on Drug Ads, Urgest Health Organization
NEWPORT BEACH, CALIFORNIA—All those ads for prescription drugs are good for
consumers, argues Richard E. Ralston, executive director of Americans
for Free Choice in Medicine (AFCM), in a commentary published this week
in the San Francisco Chronicle and available on AFCM’s Web site
(http://www.afcm.org). "In order to recover the cost of developing and
manufacturing a new product, a drug must be able to find its
“market”—customers who think the product provides a value greater to
them than the price."
After laying out a basic economics tutorial, Ralston
explains that the pharmaceutical business has rights, too, including the
freedom of speech—and he boldly concludes that the government, contrary
to regulation under consideration, ought to leave drug ads alone.
“Those who want to eliminate drug advertising, or tax
it, or use it as an excuse to impose controls want to eliminate, tax,
and control the flow of information to consumers”, he says. “They want
to destroy individual choice and free markets,” Ralston writes, “and
replace them with government micro-management of all aspects of health
care. They are ignorant of freedom of speech, which applies to
Citing drug ads’ benefits, such as informing the sick
about new treatments and motivating patients to start talking about a
condition with a doctor, he points out that, in today’s health care
system, physicians can’t conceivably keep up with the facts, advantages
and features of every new drug and factor an application to each
patient. Ralston asks: Why shouldn’t pharmaceutical firms advertise new
remedies to those who feel pain?
His answers and assertions—that the state has no
right to dictate drug ads—offer an original, thought-provoking analysis.
Richard Ralston’s health care commentary has been published in the
Houston Chronicle, Orange County Register and the
Americans for Free Choice in Medicine, (AFCM), was
founded in 1993. AFCM educates the public about the principles of
socialized medicine and free market ideas, such as HSAs and tax reform,
and publishes a consumer's guide on its Web site (http://www.afcm.org).
AFCM is the nation's only educational organization based on individual
rights, personal responsibility, and free market ideas in medicine.
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Copyright © 2005 Americans for Free Choice in Medicine. All rights reserved.
For reprint permission, contact AFCM.