New Drug Legislation Would Eliminate Tax Deduction for Advertising

On March 29, Reps. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Peter Welch (D-VT), and Elijah Cummings (D-MD) introduced new legislation to lower drug prices, the Improving Access to Affordable Prescription Drugs Act (H.R. 1776). A provision in the bill, section 405, would also end the tax deduction for DTC prescription drug ads.

Senator Al Franken (D-MN) introduced similar legislation in the Senate, which has 15 cosponsors, including Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

ANA has been at the forefront of the fight to preserve the tax deduction for advertising generally, and for DTC prescription drug advertising in particular. In 2010, during the Obamacare debate, it was estimated that ending the tax deduction for DTC ads could raise $37 billion over 10 years. As Congress considers tax reform, it is important to ensure that advertising, either in general or on a category basis, is not seen as a “pay-for” to raise revenue. We will continue to track and oppose this legislation and any similar bills that arise.