FDA warns on Internet ads.
The Food and Drug Administration has warned 14 drug makers against
using brief Internet ads to promote drugs, saying the ads are misleading
because they fail to provide full information about risks and
indications. The ads typically appear on search engines, such as Google,
as "sponsored links" when patients search for information on
medical conditions. The ads cited by the FDA include promotions for the
multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri (natalizumab), the cardiovascular drug
Plavix (clopidogrel), and the diabetes treatment Avandia
(rosiglitazone). The sponsored links generally contain only a dozen or
so words--not enough to convey detailed treatment or risk information,
according to the FDA. The Pew Prescription Project, a nonprofit
drug-safety group, has asked the FDA to articulate the rules regulating
online advertising and to advise manufacturers on where risk disclosures
may appear in Internet ads.