Woman watching TV The majority ofdirect-to-consumer spending was on advertisements for prescriptiondrugs, which increased from $1.3 billion to $6 billion. (Photo:Shutterstock)

In many western countries, you don't see ads on TV for medicine or medical procedures.The governments of those countries take the position that the onlyadvice on medication a patient should receive is from a medicalprofessional.

The situation is obviously quite different in the U.S. A newstudy published in JAMA finds that spending on medical marketing rose from $17.7 billion in1997 to $29.9 billion in 2016.

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