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Prescription Drugs: Improvements Needed in FDA’s Oversight of Direct-to-Consumer Advertising

Drug company spending on DTC advertising—such as that on television and in magazines—of prescription drugs increased twice as fast from 1997 through 2005 as spending on promotion to physicians or on research and development. Over this period, drug companies spent less each year on DTC advertising ($4.2 billion in 2005) than on promotion to physicians ($7.2 billion in 2005) or research and development ($31.4 billion in 2005).