Poll: Viewers want drugs ads pulled from television

WASHINGTON — Pharmaceutical companies spend billions each year on advertising, but it seems most of us aren’t buying their pitch.

A new poll by the medical news service STAT and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health shows strong support for banning those ads from the airwaves — a proposal put forward last fall by the American Medical Association.

Fifty-seven percent of the 1,000 adults participating in the telephone survey said they want all commercials for prescription drugs pulled from television.  Only 7 percent said they have ever considered taking a drug they saw advertised on TV.

The poll also found a lot of wariness about moves in Congress to speed up the approval process for new medical treatments.

Nearly six in 10 of those polled said they oppose changing government safety and effectiveness standards to allow for faster approvals by the Food and Drug Administration.

The House passed its version of legislation to make the change last July with wide bipartisan support. A companion bill is in the works in the Senate.

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