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FDA to poll doctors on advertising drugs to consumers


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The consumers' opinions apparently don't matter.




FDA to Poll Docs on Impact of DTC Ads

By David Pittman, Washington Correspondent, MedPage Today

Published: April 19, 2013


WASHINGTON -- The FDA will survey healthcare providers about their experience with direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising in order to assess its impact on their practice after receiving White House clearance for the program this week.


The survey is a follow-up to a similar one the agency conducted in 2002 which found that one-third of physicians said they believed DTC advertising had a negative impact on their practice, while one-third said it had a positive influence, and the remaining third said it made no difference.



The FDA asked the White House to conduct the survey, the Healthcare Professional Survey of Prescription Drug Promotion, in October, and the White House's Office of Management and Budget approved the program recently, FDA Assistant Commissioner for Policy Leslie Kux, JD, said in a Federal Register notice Monday.


Researchers have long believed DTC advertising might cause adverse health outcomes when patients request prescriptions for drugs they saw on television, radio, or print ads. But DTC marketing also could impact clinicians' prescribing habits.


DTC advertising has grown tremendously since a 1997 FDA guidance to industry on what information would be deemed adequate for use in broadcast ads. DTC advertising on social media also has grown since then, as has the use of Internet marketing.



The 2002 survey also asked physicians to think about a time when DTC advertising impacted a specific patient. A total of 18% of physicians reported that seeing the ad led to problems with that patient, compared with 41% who said it was a benefit to the patient. The data, which was published in late 2004, also showed that 41% of physicians said their patients were confused about the effectiveness of drugs due to DTC advertisements.


The FDA's 2002 survey didn't include nurse practitioners or physician assistants -- a shortcoming the FDA hopes to correct by including them in their upcoming work.


"Because DTC advertising likely affects daily interactions between patients and nurse practitioners and physician assistants -- similar to the 2002 FDA study that suggested the influence of advertising on physicians' work lives -- including these groups in the new sample will further understanding of DTC advertising in the healthcare system," the FDA said.


Also, the 2002 results weren't weighted to reflect the age, race, and sex of a national healthcare workforce, another shortcoming the agency hopes to correct this time around.


The respondents for the upcoming survey will be recruited from the American Medical Association's master file and other relevant professional organizations for the physician extenders.


The FDA will send pre-notification letters before initiating the surveys, which will be conducted online. The FDA will disclose its sponsorship on survey materials and conduct reminder telephone calls to increase response rates. The survey is expected to take providers 20 minutes to complete, the FDA said.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

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Didn't you know that in healthcare (at least as practiced currently in the US) the people whose opinions matter LEAST are the actual patients?

Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.


Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                1

Feb 2022            6                      0!!!                     0.00167               0.98                2.5 mg Ambien

Oct 2022       4.5 mg Lamictal    (off Celexa, off Xanax)   0.95 Valium    Ambien, 1/4 to 1/2 of a 5 mg tablet 


I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.

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