Friday, September 5, 2008

Prescription Drug Advertising Subject of New FDA Web Site for Consumers

PRNewswire/ -- EthicAd, a nonprofit organization devoted to improving public health through consumer education, announces the launch of a new FDA Web site created to help the general public better understand direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising of prescription medications. The site, "Be Smart About Prescription Drug Advertising," is hosted by the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research and was developed by the FDA in partnership with EthicAd. For details, visit or link to the site via FDA's homepage,

Michael S. Shaw, M.D., executive director of EthicAd, notes that the primary goal of the new site is to help the public obtain accurate, science-based information about prescription drugs and to understand the role and nature of DTC advertising.

"People are often confused about DTC advertising, which is one of the most controversial areas of pharmaceutical marketing," Shaw says. "FDA's new Web site helps clarify the issues by outlining the different types of DTC advertising, explaining what information people should expect to see in DTC ads, and what additional information they should seek out about advertised products."

The easy-to-navigate site includes a practical "Ask Yourself" checklist summarizing information consumers should obtain in order to have knowledgeable conversations with their physicians about advertised products. The new Web site also includes a section for public feedback, which will be used to shape the direction of future FDA consumer-oriented initiatives.

"We share the FDA's commitment to developing innovative and relevant education programs," Shaw says. "By helping consumers obtain factual and reliable information about prescription drugs and have empowered conversations with their healthcare providers about treatment options, EthicAd and the FDA hope to improve individual patient outcomes as well as improve the public health at large."

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