A recent poll shows a majority of Americans support a proposal to limit direct-to-consumer advertising of new prescription drugs when they first come to market

More than half of Americans surveyed in the poll say they think it is a good idea to forbid direct advertising of new drugs approved by the FDA for some period of time so that doctors have time to become familiar with the drugs.

Thirty-five percent of those polled say they would favor a mandatory ban of advertising for the new drugs, and another 16% support a voluntary ban, according to the online poll of over 2000 U.S. adults.

$4.1 billion last year was spent on direct-to-consumer advertising. In the wake of safety issues related to drugs such as Vioxx. Senator Bill Frist has urged drug makers to voluntarily wait two years before advertising new drugs to consumers.

Thirty-five percent of those polled say the FDA is doing an excellent or good job of monitoring drug advertising, while 61% feel it is doing a fair or poor job.