WASHINGTON: The Food and Drug Administration is looking for a contractor to analyze how advertising and other promotional tactics influence drug sales and prices.The moves comes as the FDA and the drug industry at large have been hammered for ads that critics charge hype benefits and downplay risks.
"The ability of FDA to respond... to questions relating to drug safety, the impact of regulatory policy, and the oversight of drug advertising and promotion is of paramount importance to the overall public health," the RFP states.
The analysis will include promotional tactics such as physician detailing by sales reps, product sampling, drug fairs, educational forums, coupons, and medical and consumer ads.
It will look at not only the amount spent on these efforts but also the content of the messages.
The FDA will use the data to forecast trends and monitor promotional activities.
FDA press officer Laura Alvey declined to comment on the RFP because the agency is prohibited from answering questions that "are not germane to the actual bidding process."