By Daniel R. Matlis
The American Medical Association’s new policy on Direct to Consumer Advertising includes imposing a temporary moratorium on newly approved drugs and guidelines for pharmaceutical companies to follow when preparing DTC advertising.
AMA President-elect Ronald M. Davis, MD said “A temporary moratorium on DTC advertising of prescribed drugs and medical devices will benefit both the patient and physician.” He added “Physicians will have the opportunity to become better educated on the pros and cons of prescription drug uses before prescribing them, and will be better able to determine when they are best suited for their patients’ medical needs.”
The AMA suggested the following guidelines for DTC ads:
- provide objective information about drug benefits that reflect drug efficacy, as determined by clinical trials
- show fair balance between the benefits and risks of the advertised drugs by providing comparable time or space and cognitive accessibility, and by presenting warnings, precautions and potential adverse reactions in a clear and understandable way without distraction of content
- clearly indicate that the ad is for a prescription drug and refer patients to their physician for more information and appropriate treatment
- target age-appropriate audiences
- should receive pre-approval from the FDA
“The AMA will work with the pharmaceutical industry for universal acceptance of the guidelines so that physicians can help patients obtain appropriate medications” said Dr. Davis.