New legislation proposed Tuesday in the US Senate surprised nobody. A bill capping expenditure on direct-to-consumer drug ads (where the marketing budget for a given product exceeds R&D costs for that product) had been long expected.

Such a proposal was introduced by a number of Democrat senators led by Debbie Stabenow (Michigan) and Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (South Dakota).

Its intention is to force pharmaceutical companies to spend at least as much on research and development of drugs as they do on marketing them to the public. At present, all marketing expenditure is tax deductible.

According to Senator Stabenow, the proposal “will lower taxpayer subsidies while encouraging pharmaceutical companies to dedicate greater resources to research and development”.

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff