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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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Bad Ad Looks Good in Year One

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A year ago, the Food and Drug Administration's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) launched the Bad Ad program. The goal of Bad Ad is to encourage health care professionals to recognize and report suspected untruthful or misleading drug promotion.

I am Yolanda Fultz-Morris from F-D-A's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

The results of CDER's Bad Ad program have been impressive. Of the 328 reports of potentially untruthful or misleading promotion, 188 were submitted by healthcare professionals. Prior to Bad Ad, FDA received an average of about 104 reports per year.

Led by CDER's Division of Drug Marketing Advertising and Communications, Bad Ad informs health care professionals about what constitutes misleading promotion —from both a legal and clinical perspective — and provides an easy process for reporting suspected violations to FDA

Of the 188 reports submitted by HCPs, 87 were identified for a comprehensive review, demonstrating a relatively strong level of knowledge in the medical community about what constitutes misleading promotion.

There were initial criticisms directed at the Bad Ad program; many thought it would promote anonymous reporting, which could unjustly accuse some advertising of being misleading when in fact it was appropriately aligned with regulations. Only 4 percent of all reports during the first year of the Bad Ad program were submitted anonymously.

Although encouraged by the significant increase in reports, FDA's most important measure of success for this program is the heightened sense of awareness of misleading promotion among health care professionals. Another measure of success is the deterrent this awareness has on drug promoters who might run afoul of regulation.

 

Future plans

Based on positive feedback and response from the medical community, FDA expects to expand Bad Ads. DDMAC will develop a web-based continuing education program; work to reach early career healthcare professionals; and actively seek opportunities to collaborate with medical, pharmacy, and nursing schools to enhance student education.

For more information about the Bad Ad program, go to the FDA website and enter B-A-D A-D in the search window. To report suspected untruthful or misleading drug promotion, phone 877-RX-DDMAC, or e-mail: BadAd@fda.gov

 

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