Medicine: Excess Marks the Spot

The FDA blows the whistle on abuses in new-drug ads

Every year scores of new drugs are launched on the American market. Most of them are variations on an existing medicine; the greatest distinction of the newcomer usually is a catchier name. Of the 96 drugs approved last year, only three were judged by the FDA to represent important therapeutic gains. As a result, to push their sometimes unneeded new products, drug companies pour their energy and money into advertising and promotion. Last year $215 million worth of advertisements were placed in the 150...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!