Sen. and still nominal presidential candidate John Edwards (D-N.C.) has introduced a bill to require that TV ads for prescription drugs provide "clear and balanced information" about side effects and benefits.
TV ads would be required to present aurally and visually (show and tell) a balanced accounting of the benefits, side effects and contra-indications. The bill would also "prohibit false or misleading advertising that would encourage a consumer to take the prescription drug for a use other than a use for which the prescription drug is approved."
Edwards says that the bill would help lower skyrocketing costs of prescription drugs by reducing the number of deceptive pharmaceutical ads. Spending on Direct To Consumer ads by drug companies has been blamed for price increases. The industry counters that the ads help save lives, and TV ads must already list side effects in voice overs whenever they are touting the benefits of a drug.
Edwards tried to attach a similar bill to the prescription drug bill last year, but it was killed.