DIRECT-TO-CONSUMER ADS: Kessler Warns Drugmakers
Former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. David Kessler yesterday told pharmaceutical industry executives that their companies "likely will face lawsuits eventually about the claims they make for their products in television commercials," Bloomberg News/Newark Star-Ledger reports. Speaking at a meeting "sponsored by Time Warner Inc.," Kessler said direct-to-consumer advertising by drugmakers "could convince more people to try new drugs without fully understanding all of the side effects," and he said the industry "may share in the responsibility for persuading the wrong consumers to try their products." Kessler told the executives: "One day in a courtroom, I assure you, one of you is going to have your DTC ads played." He further warned that the FDA is closely monitoring DTC ads and "could clamp down ... if companies put out the wrong kinds of commercials, such as ones that would promote wide use of anxiety and depression drugs." Noting the growing threat of drug-resistant bacteria, Kessler said the FDA "likely would be even more harsh about ads intended to make consumers ask their doctors for antibiotics" (Dooley, 6/12).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.