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To the editor:
    I am in complete agreement with your editorial to ban pharmaceutical advertising (Alan Ortbals column, October). In the past the decision on what medication to use was first driven by your physician diagnosing a problem and then he described what medication would best treat your diagnosis, and then prescribing the correct medication.
    Now pharmaceutical companies market directly to the consumer, whether they need the medication or not.
    For example, millions of American men went to their physician to have their T-level examined, per advertising that indicated it was a prevalent problem among males. Very few, if any, had a low T-level. The advertisement was if you felt tired and sluggish, he ought to have his T-level checked. It may be you were just beat after a long day at work, lack of regular exercise or poor diet.
    Physicians’ offices can send pharmaceutical representatives away from their offices. Television watchers cannot turn off the advertisement until it is over.
    Government statistics establish that each member of Congress and the Senate receives on average $486,000 per year from pharmaceutical companies. Over a six-year term a senator accumulates approximately $2.5 million for his campaign chest and a congressman, $1 million each, per term. This is why there has been no meaningful legislation attempting to control medication costs.
    When the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan was advance, no less during a Republican administration, it was amazing members of Congress from both parties did not require Medicare to negotiate, based on their huge numbers, a lower charge for Medicare drug recipients.
    Lip service is given to constituents but their drug prescription costs rise on average of 9 percent annum, more than quadruple the rate of inflation. Record profits are being realized as well.
    Another issue is that the drug companies have caused, in substantial part the opiate crisis, and now they are making money, having established an opiate crisis, a new medication to combat opiate addiction. Was this in the long-range plan of these manufacturers, to drive up the need for opiate treatment drugs, by pushing opiates on the American people? Litigation is pending around the country on this issue and the accumulating evidence appears this was their plan.
    So, we do not have any control over drug companies, they create an opioid crisis, they receive astronomical profits and finance the campaigns of congressmen.
    Drug companies should be prohibited from both advertising and banned from giving contributions to members of Congress or interest groups that donate to members of Congress. Then you would get action.

STEPHEN C. MUDGE
Edwardsville