FDA: Study supports DTC ads

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According to an Food and Drug Administration talking paper on a new
direct-to-consumer advertising impact survey, a study of 500 doctors concluded
that direct-to-consumer drug ads "can and do help increase patient awareness
about the availability of effective treatments for their health problems."

Arguably as important to ad types was the survey's finding that 92 percent of
patients had asked about an advertised prescription drug, with 86 percent
identifying the brand and 59 percent requesting a prescription for that drug.

The FDA has generally been supportive of the appropriateness and efficacy of
DTC advertising, with the caveat that it must police potential misperceptions.

The ads have come under fire in Congress as part of a broader eform movement
that sees them as a major contributor to the escalating cost of health
care.

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