FDA cracks down on drug advertising

March 1, 2005

Food and Drug Administration officials are unhappy about the proliferation of ads for prescription drugs that minimize risk information, hype benefits, make unsupported claims and even fail to acknowledge serious product warnings.

Washington, D.C. - Food and Drug Administration officials are unhappy about the proliferation of ads for prescription drugs that minimize risk information, hype benefits, make unsupported claims and even fail to acknowledge serious product warnings. Tom Abrams , director of FDA's Division of Drug Marketing, Advertising and Communications (DDMAC) says that the "quality of DTC advertising has declined" in recent years and that the overall tone of ads in less serious. Abrams called on marketers to make ads more educational and useful to consumers. Last year, DDMAC sent manufacturers 12 warning letters, compared with four to five in previous years, and Abrams expects this stepped-up compliance level to continue.

- Jill Wechsler