Company news: FDA, AstraZeneca and eMarketer

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The FDA announced Thursday that it is giving DTC ads a closer look from the patient perspective. The announcement, published in the August 23 Federal Register, said there is little information about just what consumers take away when looking at DTC ads, which generally "do not explicitly state that they used composite scores to demonstrate efficacy or they provide little explanation of how these scores are calculated." The composite score sums up a drug's impact across a variety of symptoms vs. relief from individual ones. According to the FDA notice, medical professionals have been trained to understand the difference between composite and individual symptom results; this study will assess whether consumers understand how efficacy is measured, how well they understand composite scores, whether benefit information affects efficacy or risk perception, and whether varying how composite information is provided enhances comprehension. The study will occur in two phases, each of which will include around 1,600 participants.

AstraZeneca has settled a South Carolina Seroquel lawsuit for $26 million, reported Pharmalot. South Carolina's attorney general had sued over the side effects caused by the anti-psychotic and for alleged off-label uses. The news site noted that AstraZeneca settled several Seroquel lawsuits last year for $68.5 million over marketing practices and that South Carolina was not among the participants.

A report published by research firm eMarketer suggests consumers are more likely to engage with banner ads served up on mobile devices than ones served on a desktop device. Global click-through rates for mobile banners were between 0.42% and 1.41%, according to data from MediaMind cited by the report. The most traction was among users in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Click rates on standard banners and on rich media units viewed on a PC tended to be lower than mobile banners in each region. (Users in the Asia-Pacific region were less engaged by mobile banners.) MediaMind also ranked average click-through rates for rich media units by category. Among the 21 categories polled, Health and Beauty scored a .30%, tied with Retail and Tech/Internet and edged out only by Entertainment (.33%), while Medical scored on the lower end with a .16%. Sports and B2B were among the categories beaten out by Health and Beauty and Medical.
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