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Concerned about the veracity of some pharmaceutical marketing, the Food and Drug Administration plans to study the extent to which doctors and consumers can detect deceptive ads.

In explaining its rationale, the agency reiterated ongoing worries that misleading advertising can generate unnecessary prescribing, but also indicated interest in finding new ways to identify troubling ads, since resources are tight, according to this notice.


Indeed, the move comes as enforcement letters issued to drug makers for promotional violations is at a record low. Just three were sent to companies so far this year, down from 11 last year, and this continues a downward trend that began in 2010, when the FDA issued 52 such letters.

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  • It is Thursday, another hot day in the City of Angels. I just watched a TV commercial that may contain false advertising. Gonna call the FDA.

    My name is Friday..
    I work here…

    Just the facts m’am.

    Dum da dum dum.

  • It is quite simple, actually. When the disease population does not match the romping, hardy, attractive-looking, seniors (usually) in the video – you wonder what other smoke they are blowing your way. Then there is the machine-gun recitation of side effects like “Call your doctor if… your eyeballs start to bleed, you go blind, your experience severe chest pains, partial paralysis, …” This clearly tells you that dying and desperate people take this stuff – not folks with minor arthritis pain.

  • It is absolutely ridiculous that the FDA should even allow direct to consumer advertising. It results in patients trying to treat and diagnose, thinking the newest most expensive treatment is necessary for them, and overall drives up healthcare costs. There is no way this should be allowed.

    Jon W, PharmD

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