What’s the biggest drug threat to our country today? Is it heroin? Cocaine? The answer shouldn’t be too surprising, yet for many in San Jose and elsewhere, it is. Prescription drug abuse—particularly the abuse of prescription painkillers is the leading substance abuse problem in the United States, causing tens of thousands of overdose deaths each year and forcing many into drug rehab centers for treatment. And in an effort to halt this epidemic’s insidious spread, a group of doctors has recently called for a ban on drug advertising.
Business Insider recently reported that a large group of doctors from the American Medical Association voted to “put a stop to advertising drugs via TV commercials and magazine ads, saying they make patients seek out expensive treatments and artificially inflate demand for drugs.”
Interestingly enough, the United States is one of the few countries in the world where this form of direct-to-consumer drug advertising hasn’t already been banned. Doctors argue that many of the ads mislead consumers in San Jose and across the nation, resulting in many individuals purchasing expensive medications they don’t actually need—hurting their wallet and possibly even resulting in an addiction that needs treatment from drug rehab centers.
Whether the ban on this advertising actually goes into effect remains to be seen, but no doubt doctors nationwide are hoping this change can take place.