Down on the pharm


Pharmaceutical companies have come to partial agreement with House Energy and Commerce Committee stalwarts John Dingell (D-MI) and Bart Stupak (D-MI), with the result that they will take modify their approach to direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising. Specifically, they agreed to wait six months after a product has gone on the market and will alter the way they use doctors in their ads. However, that leaves four other recommendations still on the table. Dingell noted, “We understand that the companies did not want to place themselves at a competitive disadvantage at our hearing, but we hope that [trade association] PhRMA will be more responsive with an industry position that addresses our significant concerns.” PhRMA, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, and manufacturers Merck & Co., Inc., Schering-Plough Corporation, Pfizer, Inc., Johnson & Johnson have agreed to meet with E&C members and staff to further explore the issue.