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Congressman Andy Harris

Representing the First District of Maryland

Harris Urges Federal Trade Commission to Act on Harm of Attorney Advertising

June 24, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Andy Harris, M.D. (MD-01) sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission regarding the harm attorney advertising causes patients when they are scared into discontinuing their medication. Rep. Harris has previously acquired data from the FDA documenting patient discontinuation of medication after viewing negative attorney advertising.  It is clear that patients have ceased their prescribed pharmaceutical regimens after viewing a lawsuit advertisement and suffered serious injury, such as a stroke, and/or death.

Data acquired by Dr. Harris from the FDA shows that among three categories of prescription pharmaceuticals (antidiabetics, antidepressants, and anticoagulants), the FDA identified 213 reports in which a patient viewed an advertisement and then discontinued use of their important medication. The data also shows such deceptive attorney advertising causes greater harm, and may target the elderly.

Congressman Harris issued the following statement:

“I am requesting the FTC act to protect patients and consumers from deceptive lawsuit advertising that scares them into stopping their life-saving prescription drugs without first consulting a doctor or medical professional. As a physician, I am concerned that those advertisements jeopardize the health and safety of vulnerable people, particularly the elderly, who use and need life-saving medications. The FTC should take immediate action against these misleading ads.”