Jan 152015
 

For decades, the pharmaceutical industry has claimed that research costs are the reason American drugs are so expensive compared to the rest of the world. However, recently revealed facts show that many of these firms spend more on advertising than on research, some more than twice as much. For several years now, Americans have been bombarded with TV ads for prescription medications. In 2013, pharmaceutical manufacturers spent nearly $4 billion on direct-to-consumer television, radio, online, magazine and newspaper advertising. Drug makers now market their products directly to consumers, rather than the traditional method of allowing doctors to make treatment recommendations. Pharmaceutical companies often air ads for products that treat sexual dysfunction, incontinence, pain, hormone imbalance or depression -followed by lengthy warnings of possible horrific side-effects from using their products. Some critics claim these types of ads are not appropriate to be viewed by children. They also say drug ads are not produced by people who are experts in healthcare, but who are somewhat competent in sales and marketing. These ads should be considered for what they are, a promotion, not a source of factual consumer information. Advocates claim most consumers are not adequately informed to assess the accuracy or truth of a drug ad, or whether it is appropriate for their condition, or if they even have a condition that requires such medication.

Pending Legislation:

H.R.923 – Say No to Drug Ads Act

I oppose reforming current pharmaceutical advertising policy and wish to defeat H.R.923

I support amending the Internal Revenue Code to deny a tax deduction for the cost of direct-to-consumer advertisement of a prescription drug, and wish to pass H.R.923

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015
 

More than 90% of all American adults now own a cellular phone and more than half of these cellphones are smart phones. Mobile marketing via short message service, or spam text, is the name given to the cellular service that allows companies to send unsolicited text ads to consumer’s cellphones. This form of marketing is rapidly expanding as a new channel to reach potential customers. Spam text supporters claim that mobile marketing benefits customers by sending personalized purchasing information which is time and location sensitive. Companies often use location-based ads to send a sales-pitch to consumers entering a shopping mall or when passing a theatre or restaurant. Many spam text critics consider these unwanted messages a nuisance and a violation of privacy. They also claim spam texts are sometimes used to install malware on mobile devices in order to collect personal information from cellphone users -including information used to steal one’s identity. Advocates say that for marketing purposes, merchandisers could track the aggregate presence of cellphone users without violating an individual’s right to privacy.

Pending Legislation: None

I oppose reforming current spam texting policy

I support prohibiting a person from using a mobile telephone messaging system to transmit unsolicited advertisements, and wish to identify a legislator who will reintroduce H.R.122 – Wireless Telephone Spam Protection Act (108th Congress 2003-2004)

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015
 

There are about 750 million telephone numbers assigned in the United States and telemarketers make an estimated 100 million sales calls each day. In order to identify potential customers, telemarketers often purchase consumer profiles from merchants and other information brokers. Last year, millions of Americans lost nearly $40 billion to telemarketing fraud. Those over 60 years of age file almost half of all telemarketing fraud complaints. Consumer advocates say older people are targeted because they are often at home and can easily preyed upon by swindlers taking advantage of their isolation or loneliness. Telemarketing trade groups claim their industry creates millions of jobs and pumps more than $700 billion into our economy. Even so, at least 70% of Americans have added their telephone numbers to the Federal Trade Commission’s do-not-call registry which prohibits commercial telemarketers from calling residences on this list. Telemarketers claim the do-not-call list is unconstitutional because it limits speech based on its content and because it only bans marketing calls -not calls from politicians, charities and other groups. Robocalls, or phone calls that use a computerized auto-dialer to deliver a pre-recorded message, were used prominently in our last Presidential election. Privacy advocates also support including robocalls on the do-not-call registry.

Pending Legislation:

S.1358 & H.R.1953 – Seniors Fraud Prevention Act of 2013

H.R.1315 – Robo Calls Off Phones Act

I oppose reforming current telemarketing policy and wish to defeat S.1358 & H.R.1953 and H.R.1315

I support establishing an office within the Bureau of Consumer Protection to advise the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on the prevention of fraud targeting seniors and to assist the FTC in monitoring the market for mail, television, Internet, and telemarketing fraud including recorded message telephone calls (robocalls) targeting seniors; requiring the FTC to disseminate to seniors and their families and caregivers information on the most common fraud schemes, including methods of reporting complaints either to the FTC’s national toll-free telephone number or to the FTC’s Consumer Sentinel Network, where complaints become immediately available to the FBI, state attorneys general, and other appropriate law enforcement agencies; providing, in response to a specific request about a particular entity or individual, publicly available information regarding the FTC’s enforcement action; and maintaining a website as a resource for information on fraud targeting seniors, and wish to pass S.1358 & H.R.1953

I support directing the Federal Trade Commission to revise the do-not-call registry provisions of the Telemarketing Sales Rule to prohibit politically-oriented recorded message telephone calls to telephone numbers listed on that registry; defines a “politically-oriented recorded message telephone call” as an outbound telephone call that plays a recorded message: the purpose of which is to promote, advertise, campaign, or solicit donations, for or against any political candidate or regarding any political issue; or that uses any political candidate’s name, and wish to pass H.R.1315

 Posted by at 12:00 am