Docket Management
Docket: 02N-0209 - Request for Comment on First Amendment Issues
Comment Number: EC -91

Accepted - Volume 2

Comment Record
Commentor Mr. Robert Hernandez Date/Time 2002-05-31 23:08:31
Organization Mr. Robert Hernandez
Category Individual

Comments for FDA General
1. Are there arguments for regulating speech about drugs more comprehensively than, for example, about dietary supplements? What must an administrative record contain to sustain such a position? In particular, could FDA sustain a position that certain promotional speech about drugs is inherently misleading, unless it complies with FDA requirements? Does anything turn on whether the speech is made to learned intermediaries or to consumers? What is the evidentiary basis of such a distinction? If a company makes claims that are absolutely fraudulent, then maybe you have grounds to go after them. The FDA assumes that no one knows anything but them.
2. Is FDA's current position regarding direct-to-consumer and other advertisements consistent with empirical research on the effects of those advertisements, as well as with relevant legal authority? What are the positive and negative effects, if any, of industry's promotion of prescription drugs, biologics, and/or devices? Does the current regulatory approach and its implementation by industry lead to over-prescription of drugs? Do they increase physician visits or patient compliance with medication regimes? Do they cause patient visits that lead to treatment for under-diagnosed diseases? Does FDA's current approach and its implementation by industry lead to adequate treatment for under-diagnosed diseases? Do they lead to adequate patient understanding of the potential risks associated with use of drugs? Does FDA's current approach and its implementation by industry create any impediments to the ability of doctors to give optimal medical advice or prescribe optimal treatment? This is the information age, we have more information available to us about products than ever before. If a person wants prescription drugs they go to their trusted doctor and he advises them. If we need more help we will let you know.
3. May FDA distinguish claims concerning conventional foods from those relating to dietary supplements, taking into account limits on claims that can be made about foods in the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act, 21 U.S.C. 301, 321, 337, 343, 371? What must an administrative record contain to sustain or deny claims on food labels? How can information best be presented in a succinct but non-misleading fashion? To what extent do assertions in claims need qualifications or disclaimers added to the label to avoid any misconceptions that consumers may draw? Is there a basis to believe that consumers approach claims about conventional foods and dietary supplements differently? We do not need an abusive mother to tell us what to do. I am probably older than you and I am sure that there are many subjects of which my knowledge far exceeds yours. And I do recognize when someone is trying to manipulate people.
4. Should disclaimers be required to be in the same (or smaller or larger) size of type and given equal prominence with claims? Is there any relevant authority or social science research on this issue? Disclaimers should be put on all products that contain hydrogenated oils or partially hydrogenated oils since research has proven that it clogs arteries, causing strokes and heart attacks.
5. How can warnings be made most effective in preventing harm while minimizing the chances of consumer confusion or inattention? Is there any evidence as to which types of warnings consumers follow or disregard? If there are class action lawsuits concerning hydrogenated oils, FDA officials might be held responsible.
6. What arguments or social science evidence, if any, can be used to support distinguishing between claims made in advertisements and those made on labels? Does the First Amendment and the relevant social science evidence afford the Government greater latitude over labels? Go back and read the Constitution and the amendment. The document controls the government for the well being of the people.
7. Would permitting speech by manufacturer, distributor, and marketer about off-label uses undermine the act's requirement that new uses must be approved by the FDA? If so, how? If not, why not? What is the extent of FDA's ability to regulate speech concerning off-label uses? The FDA is not in the business of permitting speech or restricting speech, it is guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States.
8. Do FDA's speech-related regulations advance the public health concerns they are designed to address? Are there other alternative approaches that FDA could pursue to accomplish those objectives with fewer restrictions on speech? FDA's speech-related regulations DO NOT advance the public health concerns, it causes people to question natural foods and products while promoting chemically produced drugs.
9. Are there any regulations, guidance, policies, and practices FDA should change, in light of governing First Amendment authority? The founding fathers of the United States of America, had a saying, Don't tread on me.

EC -91