PhRMA criticizes the FDA's research into drug advertising and promotion

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PhRMA, the pharmaceutical industry's lobbying group, has criticized the FDA's research into certain drug advertising tactics, saying in an August 11 comment that it's unclear how these studies will further public health.

The comment was issued to the FDA after it published in a notice that it would investigate the effects of disclosures in prescription drugs, particularly ones for cancer drugs.

See also: The FDA attempts to understand how disclosures affect drug ads

“FDA has proposed to undertake projects in a variety of disparate topics without articulating a clear, overarching research agenda or adequate rationales on how the proposed research related to the goal of furthering public health,” the group said in the letter.

PhRMA further called for the publication of a list of the agency's prescription drug advertising and promotion studies from the past five years and for the FDA to “articulate a clear vision for its research priorities for the near future.”

See also: Califf calls for marketers to develop off-label 'code of ethics'

This is not the first time that industry groups have criticized proposed FDA research into pharmaceutical advertising. A study to analyze the effects of animated characters and superimposed text in DTC ads came under fire from the National Advertising Coalition, which wrote that the FDA's proposal “must ensure that its regulations adhere to the First Amendment.”

More recently, the results of a study, published August 7, conducted by the FDA and RTI International found that a briefer risk statement in drug ads accompanied by a disclosure that not all risk information is being presented may improve a viewer's retention of risk information and can also promote a better understanding of benefit information. At that time, John Kamp, the executive director of the Coalition for Healthcare Communication, said in a statement that “great advertising requires short, simple messages.”

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