AdvaMed issues new guidelines for device ads

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The Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) rolled out guiding principles for DTC device advertising.

The device manufacturers' trade group said the guidelines were meant to encourage patient-physician discussion and promote consumer-friendly language and distraction-free presentation of risk information.

In a nod to recent controversy around celebrity endorsers and actors playing doctors in ads, the guidelines include a “truth in endorsement” provision requiring that: endorsements reflect the honest opinion or experience of the endorser; only actual users of the product be represented as such; statements made by the endorser are able to be substantiated as if made by the manufacturer; and that endorsements and testimonials be representative of a typical patient experience.

AdvaMed's rules say that when actors portray healthcare professionals in ads, that should be disclosed. The group said new ads for restricted devices should be submitted to FDA at the time of broadcast release and that ads should be revised or withdrawn if new information indicating a serious safety risk comes to light. AdvaMed chairman Michael Mussallem said the group had “set a high bar for the responsible use of DTC advertising by medical device companies.”

“With this move, the medical technology industry is again demonstrating its proactive commitment to best patient practices,” he said. “We believe that DTC advertising can be a powerful tool to educate patients about new technologies and treatment options when conducted appropriately.”

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