PHRMA UNVEILS GUIDING PRINCIPLES FOR DTC ADS
Pharmaceutical companies must target their direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertisements at age-appropriate audiences, and firms no longer will be able to run reminder ads that don't clearly state the disease condition the product treats, according to PhRMA's new guiding principles on DTC drug promotions.
The guidelines also include calls for companies to submit all new DTC television ads to the FDA before broadcasting them and to spend an "appropriate amount of time to educate health professionals about new medicines or new therapeutic indications before beginning the first [DTC] advertising campaign."
In addition, DTC ads should be designed to achieve a balanced presentation of a product's benefits and risks and be presented in clear, understandable language that is serious in tone, the code states. The DTC code of conduct will go into effect January 2006.
The new guidelines exceed current FDA regulations, PhRMA leaders said at a press conference releasing the new code. DTC advertising should represent the "higher calling" that is medicine, said Bill Weldon, chairman of the PhRMA board and chairman and CEO of Johnson & Johnson.
The industry stands behind the principle that DTC advertising should educate consumers and encourage the treatment of disease, said PhRMA president and CEO Billy Tauzin.
For more information on PhRMA's code on DTC ads, access www.phrma.org (http://www.phrma.org).