WASHINGTON: The FDA concluded a two-day meeting addressing the risks and benefits of direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising last Tuesday, in an attempt to demonstrate that it is serious about keeping its promise to monitor the popular pharmaceutical marketing practice.
Findings from the event will be compiled by the FDA into a kind of best-practices guide on how to better communicate drug information via DTC marketing, although there is no indication that these recommendations will become FDA requirements. The guides will be released this December.
For two days last week, an 11-person FDA panel heard commentary and research findings on the impact of DTC advertising. The speaker groups comprised representatives from academia, media, hospitals, and trade groups.
The FDA's head of external relations, Peter Pitts, said that the meeting validated DTC advertising as "a potent marketing tool," but said that addressing the need to "sculpt that into a public health tool" remains a challenge.