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Can We Please Stop Direct-to-Consumer Pharmaceutical Advertising?

The U.S. healthcare sector spends more money lobbying to advocate for policies that will benefit their members or businesses than any other sector, according to OpenSecrets. Last year, it spent $623 million on lobbying, for example; and in the first 6 months of 2021, spent nearly $331 million. PhRMA is coming at No. 1 this year, having spent over $15 million, while the American Medical Association is No. 4 for its $10.8 million January through June spend.

No wonder we're constantly being pummeled with direct-to-consumer drug advertising.

With so much being spent, who's looking out for the interests of orthopedic foot surgeons?

While the AOFAS is not a lobbying organization, it does support the efforts of other societies to advocate for foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeons and their patients. In July 2021, through an AAOS Sign-on letter, it gave support for the IPPS proposed rule on implementing performance measures based on outcomes.

And what about the interests of podiatric surgeons?

APMA is the only organization lobbying for podiatrists on Capitol Hill. Its Legislative Committee, Legislative Advocacy Department and Board of Trustees determine the issues and lobby Congress on behalf of the profession.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it

Minimally invasive surgery is here to stay, at least for the next decade. However, it will be interesting to see just how many of these techniques are truly adopted by surgeons – especially against mainstay open procedures that provide consistently reproducible outcomes.

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