Monday, March 19, 2012

First Amendment and the pharmaceutical industry

Max Kennerly has published a very interesting comment on the increasing use of the First Amendment as the basis for arguments by the pharmaceutical industry in an attempt to limit the reach of possble regulation by the FDA.  Given that marketing of drugs is a form of commercial speech, the pharmaceutical companies' approach is not entirely surprising.  But the social and health costs of an unregulated pharmaceutical industry can be very dangerous.  His conclusion: "In time we hope the pendulum will swing the other way, and the First Amendment will return to its roots of protecting free speech on the topics that really matter, rather than serving as a mere tool by which politically connected interests can keep their market position. But how many people will have to suffer without any legal recourse before that time?"  Go here to read the full comment.

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