April 26, 2011

Healthcare Providers Asked to Help FDA Monitor Pharmaceutical Promotions

On April 28, the FDA is hosting a webinar to explain the “Bad Ads” program, which asks healthcare providers to report examples of inappropriate pharmaceutical promotions to the agency.

We’ve discussed concerns about direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical advertising previously, but this program is intended more to monitor inappropriate claims about drugs made directly to providers (rather than directly to consumers).

According to the webinar website, “The pharmaceutical industry spends nearly three times as much on advertising to health care professionals as it does on advertising to consumers.” Problematic examples of these promotions to healthcare providers include presentations that describe a drug’s benefits while omitting the risks, sales reps pushing a drug for a non-FDA-approved purpose, misrepresentation of study data and outcomes, or other incomplete or misleading claims.

The FDA has asked that healthcare providers “monitor drug companies’ promotional messages for fair balance and truthfulness.” To learn more about the “Bad Ads” program, see the webinar information page. It will take place at noon (presumably Eastern time) on Thursday April 28.

For more information, see “Direct to Consumer Advertising” on the Our Bodies Ourselves website.

[hat tip to Siobhan]

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