New DTC Rx Ad Standards Adopted

SEPTEMBER 01, 2005
Ken Rankin

New industry standards governing direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising of prescription drugs call on pharmaceutical marketers to promote health and disease awareness as part of their promotional messages.

The guidelines, developed by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, also oblige drugmakers to ensure that their DTC ads "reflect a balance between risks and benefits," "be consistent with FDA-approved labeling," and "make claims only when supported by substantial evidence."

Additionally, the standards require that television ads for prescription products be "targeted for audience and age appropriateness" and include information about assistance programs for uninsured and low-income patients.

Mr. Rankin is a freelance medical writer.