Consumer Advertising briefs

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Consumer advertising was cited as a driver of antidepressant use in the US, which almost doubled between 1996 and 2005, a study found, with more than 10% of Americans over the age of six taking the drugs. Study author Dr. Mark Olfson, of Columbia University and the New York State Psychiatric Institute, said a number of factors are in play, including increased advertising, newer drugs, a broadening of clinical indications and a lessening of the stigma associated with depression.

Schering-Plough launched Claritin Eye, its ninth-line extension since the product went over the counter in 2002 (with 10 original products). The newest offering is an eye drop antihistamine promising to control itchy eyes all day or night.

A survey of state laws regulating DTC genetic tests found none specific to the advertising of such tests. The survey, conducted by the Genetics and Public Policy Center, found a number of laws on state books that could be applied to advertising of genetic tests—for instance, California and Nevada have statutes prohibiting false or misleading scientific or clinical assertions—but none custom made for the burgeoning industry.

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