A two-day FDA public forum on direct-to-consumer drug advertising began today. Spurred on by public and political opposition to current DTC ads, the FDA will use information gathered during the forum to issue advertising guidelines.
In an attempt to stave off regulation, industry trade group Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (aka PhRMA) issued its own guidelines earlier this year. Those guidelines don’t take effect until January 2006. Drug companies spent $2.94 billion on ads from January through August 2005. 2004 spending for the same period was $2.88 billion.
For more details about the controversy leading up to this week’s meetings, read ‘Ask Your Doctor’ Ads in FDA Crosshairs. CNN describes dug companies’ reimaging attempts in Drug Industry Could Use a Face Lift.