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Direct-to-Consumer Drug Ads Not Educational

Can you believe it? “DTC [direct-to-consumer] ads have ‘limited’ educational value and may ‘oversell’ the benefits of drugs in way that may conflict with promoting health,” according to a study published in The Annals of Family Medicine.

Maybe it’s because they are advertisements, which Merriam-Webster says are used to “to call public attention to especially by emphasizing desirable qualities so as to arouse a desire to buy or patronize.”

[via Kevin, MD]

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Bitter Pill Awards

With the Bitter Pill Awards, the Prescription Access Litigation Project highlights the transgressions of drug companies and PhARMA in the last year. Awards include the “overmarketing [of] insomnia medications to anyone who’s ever had a bad night’s sleep” and the publication of “toothless” drug advertising guidelines. They also have the “stranger than fiction” award for the PhARMA-commissioned bizarre novel based on the premise that drugs from Canada are tainted.

On a positive note, MedVantx was honored for “promoting safe, effective generics and countering drugs industry marketing.”

Read more about DTC drug advertising in this interesting article from PLoS Medicine.

[via Kevin, MD]