Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Activism Alert

First of all, the criminal Republican budget cutting bill was temporarily withdrawn, as we noted last Thursday. But it isn't dead, and we still need to kill it. Rather than re-invent the wheel, I direct you to Revere's post on this, where he gives the handy-dandy link to APHA's site where they will conveniently let you communicate to your member of Congress that you don't want to cut health care for disabled and elderly poor people, and make low-wage workers go hungry, in order to partially offset more tax cuts for obscenely rich people. Got that?

Now, on another front, and I'm sorry I'm a little bit late with this, an FDA advisory committee is considering restrictions on direct to consumer advertising of prescription drugs. The public hearing happened a couple of weeks ago, but it's not too late to submit comments. According to a petition signed by more than 200 medical school faculty members:

Prescription drug advertising pressures health professionals to prescribe particular medications, and often the ones that may be less effective and more expensive and dangerous. This intrudes in the relationship between medical professionals and patients, and disrupts the therapeutic process. It takes up valuable time to explain to patients why they may have been misled by the drug advertisements they have seen.

Prescription drug advertising is not educational. It is inherently misleading because it features emotive imagery and omits crucial information about drugs and their proper use, as well as about side effects and contraindications that can be found on the full FDA-approved label. Drug companies have an inherent and irredeemable financial conflict-of-interest which drives them to exaggerate the positive and minimize the negative qualities of their own products.

If you want to add your voice, Commercial Alert has made it easy. Go there and check it out.

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