Lawmakers Say TV Ads for Medical Devices Should Be Restricted

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Medical Device Commercials Should Be Restricted Drug Toxic Chemicals

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Lawmakers Say TV Ads for Medical Devices Should Be Restricted

We’ve all seen the pharmaceutical advertisements on television touting the benefits of a new drug. In fact, it is estimated that the pharmaceutical industry spent over $5 billion in such advertising in 2007. Now, medical device makers are getting in on the action – but lawmakers say that consumers have a lot more to lose if the medical device industry isn’t held to the same standards as the pharmaceutical industry and want those ads restricted.
Are Medical Device Makers Getting A Free Ride With TV Ads?
That’s what lawmakers recently told the Senate Aging Committee. Pharmaceutical ads on television tell consumers the benefits of taking a certain drug – usually while the person taking the drug is walking on a beach or hiking in the mountains. However, those ads must also tell consumers about the possible side effects of taking the drug. While it’s almost comical at times to hear the announcer tell us about how this drug could kill you, but that you should take it anyway, those same requirements don’t apply to the medical device industry.
Although that industry has not used television ads to the degree in which pharmaceutical companies have, it’s starting to – and it has lawmakers and consumer advocate groups concerned. They say that medical devices usually require risky surgery and may subject patients to a real risk of death. However, the ads aren’t required to tell consumers about those risks. They point to ads that feature celebrities such as former U.S. Olympic gymnast Mary Lou Retton who endorses Biomet’s M2a-MagnumT metal-on-metal hip replacement system. Retton actually has the hip replacement system and those in the medical industry say that these types of ads actually help consumers to learn about new treatment options.
Learning about the risks may be a bit more difficult
Whether it’s a drug or a medical device, it’s important for every consumer to learn about the risks involved in treatment. Unfortunately, drug and medical device companies have been accused of not doing enough clinical testing of their products before releasing them into the marketplace. While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for the final approval in many cases, the Administration is understaffed and under funded – which is something that both industries have been accused of taking advantage.
If you’ve been injured by a defective drug or medical device, contact an attorney whose practice specializes in personal injury law to discuss your situation. Consultations are free, without obligation and are strictly confidential.

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