Rep. Capriglione, Senator Buckingham File Legislation Aimed at Deceptive Attorney Advertising

Rep. Capriglione, Senator Buckingham File Legislation Aimed at Deceptive Attorney Advertising

by | Feb 27, 2019 | Legislative

Rep. Giovanni Capriglione (R-Southlake) and Sen. Dawn Buckingham (R-Lakeway) have filed companion legislation to prohibit advertisements for legal services that encourage consumers to stop taking their prescribed medications. HB 2251 and SB 1189 bar advertisements that: (1) present the advertisement as a “health alert,” “medical alert,” “consumer alert,” “public health announcement,” or similar phrase; (2) display the logo of a federal or state agency to suggest affiliation with or sponsorship by the agency; or (3) uses the term “recall” to refer to a product that has not been recalled by any agency or by agreement of the agency and the manufacturer.

The bills further require an advertisement to identify as a paid advertisement for legal services, disclose the identity of the attorney or law firm that will provide legal services. If the sponsor of the advertisement is not legally authorized to provide legal services to the person who responds to the advertisement, the ad must also disclose the manner in which the case will be referred to an attorney or law firm. This provision is aimed at “bundlers” or “aggregators” who use the advertisements to solicit clients, receive their health care information, and then sell the cases to a firm that will perform the work. 

Finally, the bills require a warning, if the advertisement concerns a prescription drug approved by the FDA, that a person should not stop taking the drug without consulting the person’s physician and that stopping a drug may cause injury or death. The advertisement must disclose that a drug or medical device is FDA approved, unless the product has been recalled or withdrawn. The attorney general and prosecuting attorneys have enforcement authority and can impose civil penalties for violations, as well as injunctive relief.

TCJL wholeheartedly supports this common sense approach to stopping attorney advertising that is misleading, poses a potential danger to consumers, and interferes with the physician-patient relationship. We applaud Representative Capriglione and Senator Buckingham for introducing this legislation, and to Senators Lucio, Creighton, and Fallon who are co-sponsoring the bill in the Senate.

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