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Drug Ads

November 18, 2009 | DAVID LAZARUS
Google, Yahoo and the pharmaceutical industry are pushing to change how prescription drugs are hawked online. That's not a bad thing necessarily. The danger is that all the happy, sunny marketing pitches could end up front and center on the Web and on Twitter, while all the nasty, scary side effects are relegated to cyber-ghettos that consumers never see. "There's no question that the pharmaceutical industry would love to send out abbreviated versions of ads that leave out the scary stuff," said Sidney Wolfe, director of health research for the advocacy group Public Citizen.
Many drug advertisements in medical journals--long believed to influence doctors' decisions about prescribing--are unbalanced, misleading and in apparent violation of federal regulations governing drug promotion, UCLA researchers have found. In the first large study of its kind, medical specialists reviewed 109 prescription drug ads published in 10 leading medical journals. They concluded, among other things, that more than half the ads studied had little or no educational value.
July 16, 2007
The article by Joanne Law ["Does Everyone Need a Pill?", July 9] was just wonderful, and very long overdue. My comments are based on 46 years of practice in internal medicine. I am now happily retired. The practice of pharmaceutical companies flooding the television screens with ads promoting prescription drugs is reprehensible. Their claim that these ads only serve an educational purpose is sheer nonsense.
December 12, 2002 | Vicki Kemper, Times Staff Writer
The new commissioner of the often-maligned Food and Drug Administration, declaring his agency independent of both drug manufacturers and consumer advocates, pledged Wednesday to take tougher and quicker action against misleading drug ads and dietary supplement labels. "We do have authority and we intend to use it," said Dr. Mark B. McClellan, a Texas-born physician and economist named by President Bush to fill the almost 2-year-old vacancy at the helm of the FDA.
October 12, 1994 | From Associated Press
From Sports Illustrated to the subway, Americans are being bombarded with ads for powerful prescription medicines--a commercial boom that has drug companies smiling but doctors worried. "Pretty soon they'll be on milk cartons and hot-air balloons," said Dr. William Jacott, whose patients have demanded prescriptions by name even before he diagnosed a disease. Suffering epileptic seizures? Fighting high cholesterol? Afraid your prostate is enlarged?
Adding fuel to the debate over misleading drug advertisements, a consumer advocacy group charged Thursday that pharmaceutical manufacturers are providing physicians with "potentially dangerous misinformation on an extremely wide scale." The Public Citizen Health Research Group announced its conclusion after analyzing data that it obtained from a widely publicized UCLA study of advertisements in medical journals.
March 29, 2002 | NOEL HOLSTON, NEWSDAY
The sickest joke on TV the last couple of years hasn't come from "Jackass" or "South Park." Its source is pharmaceutical advertising--those upbeat commercials for prescription drugs that end with rapid recitations to the effect that the pill that may relieve your allergies or indigestion may also give you cotton mouth, dizziness, diarrhea or ingrown toenails, meanwhile predisposing any child you procreate to chronic diaper rash.
September 2, 2007 | From Times Wire Services
The Food and Drug Administration plans to study how people react to television drug commercials to determine whether upbeat images give viewers an overwhelmingly positive impression despite warnings about potential side effects. Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, a Washington-based trade group, said TV ads were an important way for patients to learn about diseases and treatments.
August 14, 1997
Remember that cryptic TV commercial that aired earlier this year--a windsurfer skims over a wheat field, lands and then mysteriously says, "Ask your doctor about Allegra"? As you may have guessed, Allegra is a prescription allergy medication, but its maker couldn't say that on the air because of a 28-year-old Food and Drug Administration rule.
March 22, 2007 | From Bloomberg News
Lawmakers have asked Amgen Inc. and Johnson & Johnson to suspend all consumer advertising of their anemia medications until after U.S. regulators complete their safety review. In letters sent Tuesday to the chief executives of both companies, Rep. John D. Dingell (D-Mich.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, also asked Amgen and Johnson & Johnson to cease financial incentives to doctors related to the anemia drugs and turn over documents related to promotion efforts.
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