AARP Is Targeting Big Drug Firms Wall Street Journal (04/17/02) Vol. 16, No. 4 p.B2; Greene, Kelly
AARP is about to unveil a $10 million advertising campaign designed to get people to ask about generic alternatives to drugs and to learn about potential side effects, as well as to try to dampen the wave of direct-to-consumer drug ads aimed mainly at older consumers. AARP chief Bill Novelli concedes that the campaign is small next to the almost $2.5 billion spent on such ads last year, but Novelli created the National Center for Tobacco-Free Kids, which helped reduce tobacco ads aimed at children. AARP is also lobbying Congress to set aside $350 billion for Medicare reforms and prescription-drug benefits, and to create a $400 billion reserve fund. A Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America spokesperson says that it is "appropriate" for AARP to make recommendations, but adds that the final decision should rest with the doctor.