FDA Seeks Opinions on Whether Drug Ads Mention too Many Side Effects

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If you have heard any commercials for prescription drugs on television, you have probably heard what seems like an endless list of possible warnings and side effects. They can begin to sound the same for each drug, and many viewers can begin to tune out and figure the risk of side effects is not that great for any particular drug.

The Food and Drug Administration has issued a proposal that would reduce the number of risks listed in broadcasting that is direct to consumers. Drug makers would be responsible for listing only risks that are life-threatening, serious enough to cause hospitalization or disability, or any side effect that should cause the consumer to take actions. The FDA is currently seeking opinions from healthcare professionals and the public at large. Critics of the proposal worry that the drug manufacturers would not suitably warn patients of dangers and would use their extra TV time to praise their drugs.

Many experts believe that commercials for prescription drugs should not be allowed at all. The American Medical Association voted in 2015 to have prescription drug commercials banned, believing that the ads do not educate the public, but instead only drive demand for particular products. Advertising can boost demand for more expensive treatments at the expense of better alternatives.

What particular information should be included in drug ads is most likely a debate that will continue for years. In the meantime, drug companies can continue to run commercials, but generally must include side effects, which can often be ignored. Unfortunately, many drug companies rely on the fact that consumers will not take the risks of a particular drug and its side effects seriously.

If you believe that you have been seriously harmed by a prescription drug, you should speak with an attorney. The defective prescription drug attorneys at Kennedy Hodges can help. Call us today at 855-947-0707 to learn more or to schedule a free consultation on your case. You can also learn more about the firm on our YouTube channel.
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