While doctors and even some politicians are calling for strict limits on prescription drug ads, the pharmaceutical industry is spending billions on new TV and print advertising campaigns—spending that has increased by more than 60 percent in only the last four years, reports Rebecca Robbins. Last year, the industry broke all records, spending 5.2 billion.

In fact, drug companies are expected to spend over $100 million on TV ads for just nine prescription drugs this year.

STAT pulled data from several media research firms to see where drug makers are putting their ad dollars. Not surprisingly, their analysis shows how companies focus on promoting drugs with the highest price tags or the biggest potential customer base, or both, writes Robbins.

Companies also directed two-thirds, nearly $1.2 billion, of their TV ad spending last year to just four networks: CBS, ABC, NBC, and FOX.

The much reviled Martin Shkreli wasn’t an outlier. He was merely following the drug industry’s golden rule: increase profits. Spare no one.  -DB

From STAT, Boston Globe


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