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Scott-Levin Announces States Take Aim at Direct-to-Consumer Drug Ads.

Health/Medical Writers

NEWTOWN, Pa.--(BW HealthWire)--June 26, 2001

The debate over direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising of prescription drugs is moving to a new arena: state legislatures.

Almost 60 bills on DTC advertising and related issues have recently been considered by state legislatures, according to StateLine(TM), the government affairs information service of Scott-Levin, a Quintiles Transnational Corp. company (Nasdaq: QTRN).

Some bills have already been signed into law. In West Virginia, a sweeping new law contains a provision that would allow the state to investigate innovative strategies to manage prescription drug costs, including:
-- Requiring pharmaceutical manufacturers to disclose expenditures for
advertising, marketing and promotion, as well as for provider incentives and
research and development efforts.

-- Establishing counter-detailing programs aimed at educating health care
practitioners authorized to prescribe drugs about the relative costs and
benefits of various prescription products.


Related bills have been considered in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts and elsewhere.

Some DTC promotional information is already disclosed by manufacturers, but several pieces of pending legislation would force companies to reveal a lot more.

A Pennsylvania bill, for example, would require pharmaceutical companies and distributors to disclose all advertising and promotional costs to the state, broken down by individual health provider, managed care plan, health facility or pharmacy benefits management organization.

If passed, such bills may well be challenged in court. And states may not have the resources to enforce the programs.

However, the legislation sends a message to pharmaceutical companies regarding drug prices. In fact, DTC disclosure provisions are sometimes included in bills that seek to directly control the prices of prescription medications.

Some legislators also have introduced bills or resolutions asking the federal government to regulate DTC advertising and drug pricing, or to establish state commissions to investigate the issues. Such measures were put forward in Indiana, Massachusetts, New Mexico and elsewhere.

For more information, clients can contact Theresa Regan, theresa.regan@scottlevin.com. Media representatives can contact Kevin Monaghan, kevin.monaghan@scottlevin.com. Phone: 800/982-5613; fax: 215/860-5477. Or visit the Scott-Levin Web site at www.scottlevin.com.

Scott-Levin, a part of Quintiles Informatics, provides consulting services to more than 100 U.S. and international pharmaceutical clients. These services monitor key areas such as product promotion, industry trends, retail pharmacy activity, market performance, managed care and government affairs.

Scott-Levin's market research audits and strategic studies cover detailing, meetings and events, direct-to-consumer advertising, journal advertising, and other media. Taken together, Scott-Levin products can give clients the most accurate possible picture of total pharmaceutical promotion.

Quintiles Transnational Corp. is the world's leading provider of information, technology and services to bring new medicines to patients faster and improve health care. Headquartered near Research Triangle Park, N.C., Quintiles employs a global workforce of 18,000 in 39 countries. Quintiles is a member of the S&P 500 and Fortune 1000.

For more information, visit the company's Web site at www.quintiles.com.
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 10, 2001
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