Outgunned FDA Tries to Gets Tough with Drug Ads

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has vowed to crack down on the increasingly aggressive marketing tactics being used by drug companies. However, the agency lacks the resources to halt misleading drug ads.

In 2009, companies spent $4.8 billion in direct-to-consumer advertising in the United States. Consumer advocates and others see this endless advertising as a way to push medicines that people do not need.

According to Reuters:

“All told, the number of warnings the agency has sent drugmakers has ballooned, despite voluntary industry guidelines established in 2005 to help curb complaints. In 2008, under the Bush administration, the FDA sent just 21 notices to companies for violating the agency's marketing standards. Last year, it sent 41 letters to companies. Already this year, it is outpacing that effort, having issued 45 warnings through August 28.”

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