Curb TV ads for prescription drugs

In "States take lead on drug-cost cuts" (Aug. 16), it was reported that "Americans are using more and more of these remedies." This increase in the use of prescription drugs must be tied to the current avalanche of TV ads by drug companies. Our nation's challenge of providing affordable prescription drugs to those who really need them is complicated by the corporate push to market prescription drugs to a larger public who does not need them. If, as the article reports, "The [pharmaceutical] industry also recently set ethical-marketing standards," we should see this blitz of ads curtailed since it promotes unnecessary, and expensive, drug use. The public should just say "no."
Marie Pavish
Harborside, Maine

Regarding "States take lead on drug-cost cuts": If the profits are taken out of new drug development there will be no new drug development. Lessening the drug companies' profit margins will cause a temporary reduction in costs to the consumers but, in the long run, will cause a loss of jobs and a stagnation of pharmaceutical research.
Brent L. Marinelli
Branford, Conn.

The cost of supporting migrants

Regarding your Aug. 21 editorial, "Redefining illegal migrants": Not all Hispanics or Americans of Mexican descent support illegal immigration.

I am Hispanic and I think it is disgrace that we allow illegal immigrants to get away with defying our laws. Would anybody be willing to legalize bank robbers just because there are so many of them and politicians can get their vote?

Those who aid and abet or hire and exploit illegal aliens face a maximum $3,000 fine and six months in jail for each illegal-alien violation.

The politicians who provide businesses with illegal alien labor should be voted out of office.
Haydee Pavia
Laguna Woods, Calif.

Regarding "Redefining illegal migrants": Californian is growing by more than a person per minute – all because of immigrants and their birthrates. Almost half of the children here are first- or second-generation immigrant. Illegal immigrants assume a pro rata share of scarce roads, housing, and medical care while contributing little or nothing.

They flood overcrowded, underperforming schools while homeowners are asked to vote for new school bonds. Water and energy are getting scarcer and costlier.

Economic interests should not have the final say on population growth. Our quality of life and our children's future, and the unfairness of importing poverty that taxpayers must support, make it imperative that Americans shout out: enough!
Maggie Art
Carmel, Calif.

Russia can't escape Iraq's ideology

Regarding "Russia's newest tie to Iraq" (Aug. 20): Russia insists that there's nothing wrong in doing business with a country like Iraq. Business and ideology, they claim, can and must be separated. Wrong. You can't escape ideology. It's implicit in what you do. Russia is doing business with a nation whose government is explicitly committed to aggression against others with the use of nuclear and biological weapons, if necessary.

Whether Russia wants to admit it or not, it is helping Iraq strengthen its military arsenal and advancing Saddam Hussein's ideology of aggression and destruction. Perhaps when some of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction come Moscow's way, the Russian government will then understand why you can't escape ideology.
Michael J. Hurd
Chevy Chase, Md.

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