Better ads for healthier people

BMJ 1997; 315 doi: (Published 20 September 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;315:754
  1. George Dunea, attending physician
  1. Cook County Hospital, Chicago, USA

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August was the happiest month, happy because the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), under pressure from the Congress to reform itself or be reformed, issued new regulations allowing companies to advertise prescription drugs on television. Under the new guidelines the companies can also name the previously unmentionable disease, provided that they offer an accompanying brochure, a toll free telephone number, or an Internet address. The FDA hailed the move as a great advance in bringing health to the people. It would “promote greater consumer awareness about prescription drugs” and “end …

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