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3032 PWToday Stories

Make no bones

21 Jan 09

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US Pharmaco's urged to rein in DTC marketing

11 Dec 08

The US drug companies are under pressure through The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) to make their DTC advertising clearer and less aggressive. The US and New Zealand are the only countries where drug makers can target consumers directly, and they claim they need to do this to educate consumers and healthcare professionals about potential treatments. But critics have attacked them for using actors in advertising and making some advertising unsuitable at the times they are shown.

"What is needed is meaningful FDA regulation" such as a ban on celebrity endorsements and allowing the FDA to warn companies without prior review by the agency's lawyer, said Peter Lurie of Public Citizen's Health Research Group. The FDA claims it doesn’t have the resources to monitor every piece of marketing created.

The PhRMA's guidelines are voluntary, and don't apply to medical devices or OTC drugs, and are currently not enforceable by the FDA. This is something that a growing number of groups are calling to change.
Their revised guidelines are due to take effect March 2, 2009

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