Should Pharma PR Pros Write the Government’s Advice to Consumers?

The FDA has launched a new website, “Be Smart About Prescription Drug Advertising: A Guide for Consumers." masthead.jpg

But Merrill Goozner and the Integrity In Science Watch project of the Center for Science in the Public Interest distributed a news release with their concerns. Excerpts::

Drug ads can be confusing and often deceptive, so it makes sense that the Food and Drug Administration would develop a web site aimed at helping consumers separate fact from fiction. But to develop such a site the FDA turned to a nonprofit front group erected by Shaw Science Partners, a public relations firm that specializes in launching new drugs such as Viagra, Celebrex, Zoloft, Cymbalta and the now-withdrawn Rezulin.

CSPI today called on the FDA to scuttle the web site, to terminate its relationship with the drug companies’ PR. firm, and to seek out advice from leading physicians, pharmacists, or consumer groups before publishing a new site aimed at educating consumers. The connection between the FDA site and the Big Pharma PR. firm was reported this morning in Integrity in Science Watch, published by the Center for Science in the Public Interest. ...

“It’s not that any of the information presented on this web site is wrong, per se,? said Goozner. “But if the goal were to educate consumers about drug ads, the site is a dismal failure. Nowhere are consumers encouraged to view drug ads with any kind of skepticism. Nowhere are consumers urged how to evaluate messages about side effects. The agency basically invited an industry-funded front group to write the advice. Not surprisingly, they delivered a turkey.?

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Gary Schwitzer published on September 16, 2008 8:49 AM.

No Mas, No Gracias, No Pharma Gifts was the previous entry in this blog.

Whatever happened to "certificate of need" laws? is the next entry in this blog.

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