Frist to seek moratorium on new drug advertising

In a major blow to the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist says he will seek a two-year moratorium on advertising new drugs as elected officials assess how drug advertising has influenced the nation's skyrocketing bill for drugs. Since ads were first allowed in 1997, the industry has been fueling a steady increase in drug ads. Last year, drug companies spent more than $4 billion promoting prescription drugs.

"Drug advertisements are fuel to America's skyrocketing prescription-drug costs," Frist says in a prepared speech quoted by USA Today. "They create an artificial demand. And they drive up our nation's overall health care costs."

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