You'll pick up 5 or 6 IQ points just from looking at the smoking crater that is all that remains of Dr. Avorn's intellectual reputation.
You could argue that since most of the drugs people take are wasted, we'd be better off with the former world than the latter. But that isn't really the argument he's making, and it's pretty clear that he doesn't understand the industry well enough to make it if he wanted to. Rather, he seems to view marketing expenses as . . . I don't know, an elaborate way for pharmaceutical executives to funnel money to their favorite college cheerleaders. In reality, of course, marketing is presumed to increase total revenue by more than is spent on the marketing budget. That means more money available for R&D. It also means more capitalists are willing to invest in the inherently risky drug discovery process.Maybe we'd all be better off taking fewer brand-name drugs. But we wouldn't have more innovation or more research if we eliminated the marketing budget, unless Dr. Avorn has evidence that a substantial part of that budget is wasted and doesn't result in higher drug sales.
This is a classic example of the damage to the left that results from Universities leaning so far to the left. Even professors and doctors don't really know how to reason well, because their orthodox positions never (or rarely) get challenged. And so they spout the most astonishing nonsense.