News Roundup [abridged Versions Appear In The Paper Journal]

FDA investigates direct to consumer adverts

BMJ 2005; 331 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.331.7525.1102 (Published 10 November 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;331:1102
  1. Jeanne Lenzer
  1. New York

    Testimony on direct to consumer advertising in hearings held last week by the US Food and Drug Administration was widely divergent. Consumer advocates blasted prescription drug adverts as misleading while industry representatives said that they educate the public.

    Two days before the hearings, Rachel Behrman, deputy director of the agency's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, told the US Senate's Special Committee on Aging that the agency believes that, “… done properly, prescription drug advertising can assist consumers in taking a proactive role in improving their health.”

    Drug companies spent $4.1bn (£2.4bn; £3.5bn) on consumer advertising in 2004 in the US, the only nation that allows such adverts since New Zealand declared a moratorium on drug adverts from December 2004.

    The FDA's requests for public …

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