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Advertising Age reports that major drug manufacturers have agreed to a six-month suspension of direct-to-consumer advertising of new prescription drugs, a deal that falls short of the two year moratorium that was sought by the US House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee.

The companies also agreed to limit the use of doctors in their advertising, following American Medical Association (AMA) guidelines suggesting that actors be used to play doctors instead of using the real thing.

According to the story, Johnson & Johnson, Merck & Co., Merck/Schering-Plough and Pfizer all agreed to the various steps, and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America agreed to hold further meetings with the House committee.

KC's View:
Since these are some of the most annoying ads on television, a six-month suspension is better than nothing. I could make a bunch of jokes about this – especially about all the side effects that have to mentioned - but let me actually make a serious point.

It seems to me that these ads actually reinforce the magic pill mentality that is so prevalent in America – that we can behave any way we want, and somehow there will always be a magic pill that will solve our problems.

And beyond that, the ads are annoying as hell.