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Lipitor Wants To Twitter

Posted by Jane Akre
Wednesday, November 11, 2009 2:08 PM EST
Category: Major Medical
Tags: Direct-To-Consumer Advertising, Big Pharma, Pharmaceutical Industry, Drug Ads, FDA,

Drug companies want to advertise on the internet and will push the FDA to come up with guidelines.

Industry Meets With FDA

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IMAGE SOURCE: Lipitor ad from Web site

The drug industry wants to bring us more ads for Cialis, Claritin and Lipitor online via Google, Twitter and social media Web sites and will press its case with the FDA beginning Thursday.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is convening a two-day meeting to hear the drug industry’s position on Internet marketing, reports AP.

The FDA will develop guidelines on just how far the industry can go, similar to the current guidelines for broadcast and print media.

It is estimated that 83 percent of users search the Internet for health information and the pharmaceutical industry has trailed other retailers in using its marketing power, largely out of fear of running into FDA regulations.

“Given the unprecedented growth of the Internet as a source of health information, the FDA should facilitate the appropriate use of online media by America’s pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies to provide FDA-regulated information on medicines,” said PhRMA Senior Vice President Ken Johnson in a statement.

Johnson points out that the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the FDA all use new media technologies to communicate.

PhRMA wants the FDA to adopt a universal safety symbol to indicate a linked page that contains FDA-regulated risk information, important since Twitter limits characters to 140.

Last April, the FDA warned Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline and a dozen other drug makers for using search engines but omitting drug risks in its sponsored links that appear on screen margins.

Pharmaceutical companies represented just four percent of online marketing, reports PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The vast majority of the industry’s $4.5 billion is still spent on TV and magazine ads, where the FDA sets the rules such as including side effects along with benefits.

Direct-to-consumer advertising (DTC) is believed to be effective in that patients ask for drugs by name, part of the ways in which health care costs are increased.

DTC ads became legal in 1985 in the U.S. and began to rapidly expand in 1997 when the FDA eased regulations on the advertising of drugs. Since then, the industry has poured money into this form of promotion, spending nearly $5 billion just last year. The only other country that allows DTC drug ads is New Zealand.

The FDA is unlikely to issue any new industry guidelines until 2011. #


4 Comments

Posted by Phil Taylor
Wednesday, November 11, 2009 2:49 PM EST

Enough Cialis already!! My email is stuffed with ads for Cialis and Viagra. Twitter does not need to be polluted with stiff pills. FDA--Just say NO!!

Anonymous User
Posted by
Wednesday, November 11, 2009 8:01 PM EST

Stupid comment

Anonymous User
Posted by douchebagspotter
Wednesday, November 11, 2009 10:07 PM EST

Yeah, that's pretty stupid. Those ads are NOT real. Pharma and Device firms are not allowed to advertise; hence, the FDA's reason for conducting the public forum and the main reason for the existance of the article which by the way is written on this "ambulance chaser" website. What a douche bag!

Anonymous User
Posted by Carl Pooper
Saturday, November 14, 2009 5:57 PM EST

i welcome all the erectial disfunction ads... i need all the help i can get. i buy from them all. if it's in my email, it has to be real, right?

Comments for this article are closed.

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