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Although the FDA requires advertisers to present a "fair balance," Cheryl Graham, Acting Director of the FDA's Marketing Division, admits that one-half of the journal ads violate this standard. One experience at the Annals of Internal Medicine in 1992 sent a chill down the spines of editors and publishers alike. This is no outside critic, either: these are the words from a top FDA employee who has worked at the agency for two decades. Let me begin by asking you how long you've been with the FDA and what your current position is. It views industry as its client, and the client is someone whose interest you represent.
What's about to follow in this essay is my own personal opinion and my own assessment of this bigger picture. The voiceover answers our question as we think it: The woman has social anxiety disorder, a condition that can be treated with the prescription drug Paxil. Doctors tend to read the articles that deal with new drugs being developed, new surgical techniques, and advances in diagnosis. The federal government's war against quackery was supported by the pharmaceutical companies and the AMA. Gary Null's Prescription For Disaster video documentary, which is available at the Gary Null website and is a must-see video for anyone who wants to know the truth about the pharmaceutical industry and the FDA.
Doctors chronically under-report and even ignore the deaths or adverse reactions to the drugs they prescribe because it is not in their professional self interest to raise public awareness to the danger. Moreover, they were unconcerned about Claritin's cost (more than $2. They can also move very quickly and deftly to "squash" any negative news about their clients, as well as to promote damaging news about others.
Spending on prescription drugs is now the fastest growing portion of healthcare spending in the United States. They have been significantly investing in DTC advertising as well as expanding their sales forces for detailing physicians.
And 15 to 20 percent of the APA's income in recent years has come directly from drug company advertising in APA journals—another means of guaranteeing good press for new drugs., page 78
Beyond these direct influences, drug companies exert broad influence over the drug information received by doctors and consumers.
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In spite of this tremendous risk, pharmaceutical advertisements are becoming increasingly common and, unfortunately, increasingly effective. Marcia Angell and Arnold Relman, another former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine, to warn, "Few Americans appreciate the full scope and consequences of the pharmaceutical industry's hold on our health care system. The content of these ads is based on the information in package inserts, with the same limitations or omissions of important side effects and/or lower, safer doses.
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The division at FDA responsible for policing prescription drug advertising has not been given adequate resources to keep up with the torrent of newly approved drugs.
In his book, Death by Prescription, Ray D.
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If you scan most clinical journals, you will see that they are filled from cover to cover with ads from pharmaceutical companies and medical supply dealers. I'm currently the Associate Director for Science and Medicine in the Office of Drug Safety.
Its market value is withering away with each passing day, its credibility is plummeting at an accelerating pace and patients and doctors are wising up to the fact that pharmaceuticals are not the answer to health.
In 2000, pharmaceutical companies spent $2. One provider of medical education, Joe Torre, the chief executive of an advertising agency that owns its own clinical research company, said, "Very often doctors are more influenced by what other doctors say than what pharmaceutical companies have to say. Congress in pushing the FDA into approving more drugs, and passing, with the FDA's reluctant approval, legislation to further weaken the FDA's ability to protect the public, cannot be overlooked.
I've talked about all the ethical implications of this before, and as much as we should all be outraged at this behavior by Merck, I've actually grown weary of being outraged by it.