Should Warnings And Side Effects Be Made Clear?

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Should Warnings and Side Effects Be Made Clear in Advertisements? “A new Consumer Reports poll shows that one in six Americans who have ever taken a prescription drug experienced a side effect serious enough to send them to the doctor or hospital.” (“TV”) Questions have been raised as to how much information should be provided to consumers about the side effects of drugs. “Under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, ads must mention at least one approved use for the drug and the generic name of the drug as well as side effect information; however, the FDA is studying whether warnings in broadcast and print ads overwhelm and confuse consumers. The agency says no one reads more than half of the fine print in drug ads, and of those who do, 55 percent say it’s hard to understand.” (“Russell”) “A few weeks ago, the FDA rolled out reissued revised draft guidance. Under the proposed guidelines, drug makers would still be required to include “black-box warnings” about the most serious risks, but they wouldn’t have to rattle off a laundry list of every possible side effect. In general, the FDA believes that exhaustive lists that include even minor risks distract from and make it difficult for consumers to comprehend and retain information about the important risks. Meanwhile, some consumer advocates are worried about the FDA’s proposal, saying drug advertisers could get too much leeway on which risks to omit.” (“Russell”)

According to a survey conducted in April

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