The World: Washington - Congress weighs up curbing pharmaceutical ads

The US Congress is considering new restrictions on the $5.15 billion spent each year on direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical advertising.

Reports of new curbs come little more than a year after the pharmaceutical and ad industries defeated a similar initiative.

Barack Obama, the Democratic presidential candidate, is among those who have already indicated support for some restrictions.

Consumer groups and some legislators are pressing for moratoria on the advertising of new drugs. They argue that this would provide more opportunity to discover any unknown side effects.