Michigan democrats, apparently believing that there are still too many jobs in Michigan, have launched an attack on Michigan's drug companies.
Democrats seem to believe that drug companies spend too much money on advertising. They want to restrict how much companies can spend.
One common criticism of drug companies is that they spend more money on advertising than they spend on research. Suppose that's true. Let's review the economics of advertising.
A company can make the best product in the world, but no one will benefit from it if they don't know about it. By advertising, a company lets people know about a product that may benefit them. Thus advertising benefits society.
Democrats criticize advertising as if a dollar that is spent on advertising is a dollar that could be spent on research. But why do companies advertise? It's not because they like giving money to the media. It's because advertising attracts more customers and increases profits. Companies have more money because of advertising than they would otherwise. Restricting advertising would decrease the amount of money available for research, not increase it.
Advertising may sometimes encourage people to buy bad or unnecessary products, but whose fault is that? If a product is bad, the problem is the product, not advertising.
If a drug is unnecessary, why would people buy it? The problem here is not the free market, but government regulations. Government subsidizes employer-provided health insurance in the tax code, and so discourages people from controlling the costs of their own health care.
Drug companies save lives; government kills.