Pharmacy Times, Volume 0, 0

While the FDA takes a fresh look at theimpact of direct-to-consumer (DTC)advertising of prescription drugs, manufacturersof prescription medicines saythe evidence supporting the value ofthese ads is clear-cut. "There is no doubtthat DTC advertising is an invaluable communicationstool that empowers millionsof Americans to talk to health care professionalsabout their medical conditions," Pharmaceutical Research andManufacturers of America President andChief Executive Officer Billy Tauzin said.

Tauzin, a former congressman activelyinvolved in health care issues, arguedthat consumer ads for prescription productsgive physicians an opportunity todiscuss the risks and benefits of coursesof treatments—a dialogue that producesmore informed patients.

"The educational value of DTC advertisingis particularly important to addressunderdiagnosis and undertreatment ofmajor medical conditions such as asthma,cerebral vascular disease, diabetes,and hypertension," he said.