"Federal regulators plan to study whether relaxing, upbeat images featured in TV drug ads distract consumers from warnings about the drugs' risks.
The announcement, posted Tuesday to the Food and Drug Administration's Web site, comes a week after a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine suggested the agency's drug-ad enforcement has steadily declined.
The FDA says it plans to study how 2,000 people react to television drug ads to determine whether they have an overwhelmingly positive impression of products despite audio warnings about potential side effects."
Matt Perrone of the AP zeroes in on my favorites...the Cialis ad which "features a middle-aged couple returning from a shopping trip while smooth jazz plays in the background. Toward the ad's end, a male voice lists common side effects, including headache, back pain and muscle aches." Note that the FDA put the kibosh on a female voice in ED drug ads...The agency found a female voice too....stimulating.
Leave it to the longest running joke in the so-called consumer movement, Sid Wolfe, to come up with what he thinks is a serious proposal but could be a great idea for a late night comedy sketch:
"If advertisers were really interested in getting information about drug risks out, they'd show pictures of those problems, but you almost never see that," said Dr. Sidney Wolfe of the advocacy group Public Citizen, which frequently criticizes drug industry marketing.
Yeah, I could see that. A couple in a hot tub about to engage in Clinton-like behavior only to have Sid Wolfe pop up from underneath the steamy H20 to begin reciting all the side effects.
Sid Wolfe in a hot tub droning on about drug safety. Now that's a good use of FDA user fees.