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In the United States, pharmaceutical advertising seems inescapable.

Since the first prescription drug ad ran in the early 1980s, the business of pharmaceutical advertising has exploded. Drug companies spent $7 billion on advertising last year, according to Statista, with most of that going to television ads; more than $287 million was spent on TV advertising for Sanofi and Regeneron’s anti-inflammatory drug Dupixent alone.


Yet most people would rather not see these ads at all. In a 2016 STAT-Harvard T.H. Chan poll, more than half of the people surveyed — 57%, to be precise — wanted drug ads to be taken off the air.

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