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This Week
August 9, 2002

This week on NOW:
  • A Second Opinion: Dr. Marc Siegel is fed up with those ads that urge you to ‘Ask your doctor’ about expensive drugs
  • Bill Moyers interviews consumer advocate, author, and former Presidential candidate Ralph Nader
  • Excerpt from TRADING DEMOCRACY: How taxpayers can wind up paying for their own betrayal

Dr. Marc Siegel, assistant professor of medicine at New York University and practicing internist since 1990, comments on what he sees as a disturbing change in the medical profession in the last five years. Drug companies, America’s most profitable industry, have had most of their restrictions lifted on the way that they can advertise, and there has been a five-fold increase in spending on ads aimed directly at patients.

For nearly 40 years, Ralph Nader has been crusading against the expansion of corporate control over our political economy. But while he has been called America’s preeminent public citizen, his critics say he is the country’s biggest public nuisance. This week on NOW, Nader sits down with Bill Moyers to answer your questions and discuss the need for greater citizen involvement in our democracy.

Our final report this week takes us to Washington where earlier this week President Bush signed a bill that many are calling one of his biggest triumphs. It’s best known as Fast Track, and it gives him the power to make trade agreements that Congress can only say yes or no to - no amendments allowed. The President says he’ll use the power to set up new agreements with more countries, based on the model of NAFTA - the North American Free Trade Agreement. NOW tells the story of the little known provision of NAFTA called Chapter 11, designed to protect investors if foreign governments tried to seize their property. It turns out these obscure treaty provisions may threaten democracy itself.

In Depth

Ralph Nader

Find out what other viewers wanted to ask Ralph Nader.

Debate third parties on the message boards

Drug Ad
Dr. Marc Siegel on Drug Advertising

A Brief and informative history of drug advertising.


Corporate logo

Compare corporate tax rates with yours and then Talk Back on the message boards


Learn more about the issues discussed on NOW.

Read the complete transcript.


A Second Opinion
Produced by: Gregory Henry
Edited by: Robert Salsbury

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