Prescription drugs can improve quality of life, prevent hospitalizations and protect against illness, and drug advertising may encourage people to seek needed help, but the industry puts a burden on physicians with the expectation that they will serve as a "safety stop," says Matt Hollon, a faculty member at the University of Washington School of Medicine. Direct-to-consumer drug marketing is also aimed at physicians, and certain practices such as ghostwriting potentially endanger patients, says Hollon, who suggests that FDA disallow DTC ads for the first three years after a new drug is approved.

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