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Subjective FDA Guidelines Lead To Misleading Rx Ads, Study Says

08/23/11

  11:00:46 am, by MedBen5   , 179 words,  
Categories: News, Prescription

Subjective FDA Guidelines Lead To Misleading Rx Ads, Study Says

“Let the buyer beware.” It’s a mantra any smart consumer shopper follows when making a purchase – and one that goes double when deciding on a medication.

To help consumers, as well as health care professionals, sort through the jumble of information found in pharmaceutical ads, last year the FDA created the “Bad Ad” program. The agency says the program has thus far proved a success, with over 300 reports of “potentially untruthful or misleading promotion” submitted by professionals, consumers, and people at drugmakers.

So, how bad were things before the FDA stepped in? According to Pharmalot, pretty bad. Researchers reviewed 102 pharmaceutical ads that ran in biomedical journals in November 2008 – about two years before the “Bad Ad” program began – and found that only 15 fully adhered to all 20 FDA Prescription Drug Advertising Guidelines.

Pharmalot notes that 57.8% of the ads did not quantify serious risks [including death], 48.2% lacked verifiable references and 28.9% failed to present adequate efficacy quantification. Such omissions, the researchers say, can be attributed to “subjective” FDA guidelines that also fail to emphasize transparency on the drug company’s part.

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