Friday, June 16, 2006

Advertising Guidelines Approved by American Medical Association

The American Medical Association (AMA) concluded its annual convention by approving a temporary moratorium on direct-to-consumer (DTC) marketing of newly approved drugs. The AMA was approving the voluntary DTC guidelines issued by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America last August.

Could it be? No more endless ads on primetime television:
  • having to do with a certain part of male anatomy?
  • showing someone floating through a field of pollen without a sneeze?
  • ending with a speed-talker listing the thousands of side effects the drug might induce?
In addition to the moratorium on DTC advertising on newly approved drugs, the AMA agreed on some guidelines for direct to consumer ads. The direct-to-consumer ads should:
  • provide objective information about drug benefits that reflect the drug's true efficacy as determined by clinical trials;
  • show fair balance between the benefits and risks of advertised drugs by providing comparable time or space;
  • present warnings, precautions and potential adverse reactions in a clear and understandable way without distraction of content;
  • state that the advertisement is for a prescription drug and refer patients to their physician for more information and appropriate treatment;
  • be targeted for age-appropriate audiences;
  • and receive pre-approval from the FDA.
The AMA also calls for additional research into the effects of DTC advertising on the patient-physician relationship, overall health outcomes and health care costs.

So, does this mean that there will be no more:
  • personal testimonials to the efficacy of a new drug;
  • Mr. Motor Mouth listing side effects at the end of commercial;
  • fantasy backgrounds and music;
  • inappropriate or unproved claims; and
  • no more smiling man (with happy wife at home) shown during the day?
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