2005N-0354 Consumer-Directed Promotion of Regulated Medical Products; Part 15 Public Hearing
FDA Comment Number : EC303
Submitter : Ms. Nanette Ciano Date & Time: 12/09/2005 10:12:07
Organization : Ms. Nanette Ciano
Category : Individual Consumer
Issue Areas/Comments
Dear FDA,
I have become rather concerned about the amount of advertising the drug companies are doing on the TV. Sometimes my son and I count the number of ads that promise that their pill will make you "feel better". Sometimes we get a chuckle out of it, because the ads themselves are so absurd. Like the pill promises that you will feel better, and then goes on to give a long list of contraindications, like increased risk of suicide, vomiting, nausea, headaches, bleeding to death, you name it! But most of the time I am outraged by the cagey words used to make people think that depresssion and other mental ills are "caused by" a chemical imbalance in the brain. Come on! We know that isn't true. Why else would the ads have to say, "the cause may (nice use of the word) be caused by a chemical imabllance in the brain." (OK, so that means "we're not sure" to me!) But then the ad goes on to diagram out how this is so, and then says "when you know more about something, you can do something about it" (or some such thing.) So now how do we "know more about it?" Cause some advertising man drew a little cartoon of it? I don't think I'm the only one noticing this chicanery, but I do think that many people can be duped by an ad like this, especially if they're not feeling so good and don't quite know why. Giving a person in this condition a false reason for the way they feel, and then proceding to give them a false solution, seems like it should violate the principles of fair advertising, and most definitely dimishes the likelihood of their confronting what it really is making them feel awful so they can actually get well. I know it is done in other fields as well, but when someone's sanity is at stake, let's not fool around, OK?
Nanette Ciano