FTC Comments to the Food and Drug Administration Regarding the FDA's Regulation of Direct-to-Consumer Advertising for Prescription Drugs.

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In a document made public today, the staff of the Federal Trade Commission offered comments to the Food and Drug Administration regarding the FDA's regulation of direct-to-consumer advertising for prescription drugs. The FTC staff views respond to an FDA notice in the Federal Register inviting comments on this topic.

The FTC's comments state that truthful and non-misleading prescription drug advertising can help consumers manage their own health care, but that deceptive or misleading advertising in this area can impose particularly high costs on consumers.

Noting that during recent FDA public hearings regarding direct-to-consumer prescription drug advertising many commentators suggested that the FDA consider adopting an approach similar to that used by the FTC, the comments describe the framework used by the FTC to evaluate advertising. The comments also address certain specific questions raised in the FDA's Federal Register notice, including questions regarding the FDA's current "brief summary" disclosure requirements for prescription drug advertisements, and whether different disclosure mechanisms may be appropriate for different advertising media.

The comments represent the views of the staffs of the Bureaus of Consumer Protection and Economics, and not necessarily the Commission or any individual Commissioner.

Copies of the comments are available from the FTC's Public Reference Branch, Room 130, 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580; 202-326-2222; TTY for the hearing impaired 202-326-2502. To find out the latest news as it is announced, call the FTC NewsPhone recording at 202-326-2710. FTC news releases and other materials also are available on the Internet at the FTC's World Wide Web site at: http://www.ftc.gov

(FTC File No. V 960001)

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