Recently I have seen on local media (mainly TV within an Eastern European country) multiple ads for medication that requires prescription. It looks to be much more regulated than vitamins as it requires to display a ad visa number (no/year) and a long text describing potential side effects.
I know that all this medication is previously officially approved and quite safe, but I thought prescription requirement is a sign that the treatment must allows go through an M.D. who should objectively (cost/benefit) choose the appropriate medication.
This article describes this phenomenon in USA.
Drug commercials as you know them really only began in 1997, when constraints were further loosened, and new meds began to feature in television commercials. For its part, the FDA notes that no federal law has ever outlawed drug ads, justifying its progressively lax regulation.
There seem to be some opposition to this is US, but I have not heard anything like this in my country (probably due to this practice being too young):
Pharmaceutical advertising has spiraled so far out of control that the American Medical Association last year proposed an outright ban on it, arguing that "a growing proliferation of ads is driving demand for expensive treatments despite the clinical effectiveness of less costly alternatives."
Question: Why is advertising for medication requiring prescription allowed (legal)?