February 21, 2001

Legislative Activity

Date: February 21, 2001

To: AAF Members

From: Clark Rector, Jr., Vice President-State Government Affairs

Re: Connecticut Legislation Concerning Pharmaceutical Advertising

Legislation (Proposed Senate Bill 39) has been introduced in the Connecticut General Assembly:

To require pharmaceutical companies that provide prescription drugs in [Connecticut] to disclose all prescription drug advertising and promotional costs and to determine the impact of such costs on prescription drug prices and on state residents.
AAF opposes this legislation as an unwarranted government intrusion into the legal and appropriate activities of private businesses.

Senator Edith Prague (D-Columbia), the bill's author, seems to be operating under the misguided notion that advertising increases the price of products. In reality, we believe that a study, such as the one called for in the legislation, would show that advertising has a positive impact on the price of prescription drugs and state residents.

Advertising for prescription drugs can be an important source of information for consumers about medical problems and potential treatment options of which they would otherwise be unaware. This is particularly true when new products become available, advertising can play a considerable role in informing both patients and doctors. Consumers can then discuss with their doctor whether the drug in question is appropriate for them.

Early warnings to consumers of medical conditions and treatment options by prescription drug advertising can have a positive impact on total healthcare costs by eliminating or reducing many hospital stays.

There is a direct price benefit for consumers as well. An FTC study on the price of prescription eyeglasses found that prices actually declined in markets with advertising as opposed to those without, with no decrease in quality.

The legislation has been referred to the Committee on Public Health. No hearing or further action has been scheduled at this writing. If you have a constituent interest in Connecticut, we urge you to contact members of the General Assembly to urge opposition to this harmful legislation.

Connecticut General Assembly
Legislative Office Building
Hartford, CT 06106-1591
(860) 240-0100