Direct-to-consumer (DTC) pharmaceutical advertising challenges traditional medical ethics because it suggests that health care is a commercial enterprise, not a paternalistic endeavor of duty-bound professionals and enlightened regulators. Stalwart defenders of the old hierarchical physician-directed system will not succumb to the trend toward decentralization, which DTC advertising exemplifies, without putting up a fight.

Other Independent Review articles by Ronald F. White
    Summer 2009   The Modern Health Care Maze
    Spring 2007   Institutional Review Board Mission Creep