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Stabenow drug amendment unlikely

The Senate is debating prescription-drug coverage for seniors, but it doesn't
appear that any provisions that would affect prescription-drug advertising on TV will
be included in a Senate-passed bill.

Last Thursday, Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) gave a speech on the Senate
floor outlining her position on prescription-drug advertising, which is that
drug companies should not be spending more on advertising than they spend on
research and development.

"I am offended when I look at the numbers, when we are seeing more on
promotion and advertising, more on the sales machine than on research and
developing new drugs, more in profits, way more in profits than R&D, and
more in compensation for those at the top," Stabenow said.

Stabenow has proposed an amendment that would limit drug companies'
advertising tax deductions to the amount they spent on research and development,
but that amendment is unlikely to appear in any Senate bill, sources said. The
Senate has stalled in its debate on prescription drugs because neither
legislative vehicle now in consideration has sufficient support.