Prescription drug ads — do they help or hurt?

Listen 00:48:45

Guests: Elizabeth Rosenthal and Amanda Starc

It’s hard to watch TV and not notice commercials for prescription drugs — some for illnesses you never heard of and others for costly, highly-specialized medications not covered by insurance. Drugs to battle cancer pull on your heartstrings while others like the ones for toenail fungus and irritable bowel syndrome use the humor of animation to illicit action. The U.S. is only one of two countries in the world that allows consumer drug advertising and increasingly, policymakers, politicians and health care providers are calling for a ban. They say these ads drive the demand for expensive treatments while pharmaceutical companies point to their patient education value. In this hour of Radio Times, we’ll dig deep into the pros and cons of pharmaceutical advertising with New York Times reporter ELIZABETH ROSENTHAL and University of Pennsylvania Wharton professor AMANDA STARC.

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