William & Mary Law Review Online


Matthew Griffin


This Note will argue that the United States can and should regulate direct-to-consumer (DTC) prescription drug advertisements on television more strictly—preferably by proscribing them altogether. In Part I, this Note will discuss the issues of soaring drug prices, disappointing health care outcomes, a glut of misleading drug advertisements affecting the doctor-patient relationship and personal health, and the problem with the current approach to prescription drug advertising. Part I will also discuss the misleading nature of DTC prescription drug advertisements and some examples of the harm they have caused. Additionally, Part I will propose a solution that focuses on limiting the influence of DTC advertising to reduce consumer confusion and deception. Part II will introduce and discuss the constitutional test for restrictions on commercial speech. In Part III, this Note will apply the constitutional test, enunciated in the Central Hudson case, to demonstrate that proscribing DTC prescription drug ads or confining them to certain, more fitting places would be a constitutional policy. Part III will also explain how the Note’s proposed solutions fit into the existing statutory framework and refute some anticipated counterarguments to this Note’s proposed solutions. This abstract has been taken from the author's introduction.