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FDA Has Drug Company Pull TV Ad

Novartis AG on Friday said it pulled its television advertisement for Lamisil tablets to treat toenail infections after the FDA complained and demanded the spot be taken off the air. The FDA said the ad overstated the effectiveness and did not sufficiently outline the risks associated with taking the medicine.

The FDA complained that the ad did not sufficiently communicate to viewers that only 38 percent of patients in clinical trials achieved complete cure of their condition and music as well as visual graphics interfered while a voice describes the risks such as liver or kidney problems.

The TV ads are no surprise as since the mid-1990s pharmaceutical companies have tripled the amount of money they spend on advertising prescription drugs directly to consumers. Spending on prescription drugs is on the rise and is now the fastest growing portion of health care spending in the United States. They are now spending more than $3 billion per year on direct-to-consumer drug advertising.

Yahoo News August 29, 2003

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