Posts filed under ‘DTC’

Group launches website to counter DTC ads

Commercial Alert, a consumer advocacy group, has launched a new website: The site was created to challenge direct to consumer advertising for prescription drugs.


January 23, 2006 at 8:26 pm 5 comments

P&G has bones with GSK’s “misleading” Boniva ads

BonivaAccording to a BrandWeek report, Procter & Gamble and Sanofi-Aventis have sued Roche Pharmaceuticals and GlaxoSmithKline for false and misleading advertising of the osteoporosis drug Boniva. P&G and Sanofi have a competing drug called Actonel. P&G claims that Boniva advertising incorrectly claims that it reduces the risk of non-spine fractures at rates comparable to other treatments, but the label and clinical data does not support that claim. The suit was filed in the Southern District of New York.

See also:

January 6, 2006 at 7:00 am 1 comment

Pfizer rings in new DTC controversy with Viagra ads

An AIDS advocacy group has criticized Pfizer for DTC ads that the group claims promote recreational use of Viagra. The ad in question shows a middle-aged man and text that says, “What are you doing on New Year’s Eve?” and “Fact: Viagra can help guys with all degrees of erectile dysfunction — from mild to severe.”Michael Weinstein of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation slammed what he thinks is irresponsible advertising:

Not only does sending this reckless message contribute to the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, but it is also part of a pattern of irresponsible direct-to-consumer advertising by the drug industry. . . Ads for HIV/AIDS drugs often portray living with HIV to be as simple as popping a pill and then it’s a day at the beach, and there is another side to the story that is simply not being told by the drug industry. We urge Pfizer to not only pull these reckless ads that encourage the recreational use of Viagra, but to make a pledge to curb all irresponsible direct-to-consumer advertising — a practice that is contributing to the spread of disease and placing profit above people’s health.

More on this issue can be found in this article on

January 5, 2006 at 7:00 am 2 comments

Eli Lilly to plead guilty to false advertising of Evista

Eli Lilly and Co. accepted a $36 million fine and will plead guilty to a federal misdemeanor charge due to false advertising for its Evista osteoporosis medication for breast cancer and cardiovascular risk reduction. The company’s Evista advertising will also be subject to strict guidelines and federal oversight for five years. The Food and Drug Administration has not approved Evista for breast cancer treatment or cardiovasvular risk reduction, but the drug has been approved for preventing and treating osteoporosis in post-menopausal women.

See Eli Lilly Pleads Guilty in Marketing Promotion, Brandweek (Dec. 22, 2005).

December 22, 2005 at 10:38 pm Leave a comment

Celeb drug endorsements getting healthy dose of ink

More news on celebrity endorsements of prescription drugs, this time in an article in Pharmaceutical Marketing:

America’s habit of paying high profile celebrities large sums of cash to extol the virtues of specific products through any and all media channels has in the past landed the drugs industry in hot water. Some have claimed that adverts for Vioxx featuring Olympic athlete Dorothy Hamill, who suffers from arthritis, boosted the number of prescriptions prior to the drug’s withdrawal over heart attack and stroke claims.

Yet, pharma continues to invest in match-making famous faces with brands and disease awareness initiatives. Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) has secured cancer survivor and seven-times winner of the Tour de France, Lance Armstrong, as a face for its corporate brand as well as its print advertising campaign.

BMS is careful to note that Armstrong is used in brand advertising and not product advertising, a distinction that may not be meaningful to the FDA.

November 1, 2005 at 8:00 pm Leave a comment

FDA to gawk at celebs pitching prescription drugs

Today’s Boston Globe has an article on celebrity testimonials/endorsements of prescription drugs, noting that:

Celebrity drug pitches previously generated enmity when stars appeared on television talk shows and told about how various treatments helped them, without mentioning they had been paid by drug companies to make the glowing endorsements.

”That was a practice that got the drug industry a lot of bad press. And rightly so,” said Bob Ehrlich, former Parke-Davis vice president of consumer marketing.

The Food and Drug Administration will address this and other direct-to-consumer drug advertising issues in hearings this Tuesday and Wednesday.

October 30, 2005 at 7:00 am Leave a comment


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