Sunday, April 22, 2007

Drug ads would spark $10B frenzy: Study

While I agree that prescription drug advertising would increase sales, I have a hard time believing the numbers in this study. It says in the article that Canadians spent $16.6 billion on prescription drugs in 2005. But to suggest that more advertising would result in a $10 billion increase above current levels seems a bit much to me.

A copy of the study is available at the new online medical journal Open Medicine. The link is here.

From the Toronto Star:
Allowing American-style drug ads in Canada would lead to massive increases in pharmaceutical spending and severely stress an already vulnerable health-care system, a new study suggests.

Canadians might expect to see a $10-billion-a-year increase on drug spending in the aftermath of such mass advertising in this country, says study author Steve Morgan, a University of British Columbia health economist.

"It could increase our total expenditures on pharmaceuticals by 30 per cent," says Morgan, of U.B.C.'s Centre for Health Services and Policy Research.

"That is a staggering amount. You could hire 40,000 doctors and pay them $250,000 a year for that amount." ...more

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