2005N-0354 Consumer-Directed Promotion of Regulated Medical Products; Part 15 Public Hearing
FDA Comment Number : EC56
Submitter : Ms. kristina kahl Date & Time: 12/07/2005 06:12:21
Organization : Ms. kristina kahl
Category : Individual Consumer
Issue Areas/Comments
To Whom It May Concern-

I am just a regular citizen who feels compelled to write about the overabuse of perscription drugs due in part to DTC advertising. Many of my friends and family have at various times gone to doctors and either asked about particular medications (mostly anti-depressants or anxiety medication) because of hearing about it through TV, radio, and print ads. What has also transpired has been the heavy push by doctors to prescribe these types of medications, of course they suggest counceling but it clearly not a requirement. Since the change in FDA's original position of not allowing DTC advertising, massive dollars from the pharmeceutical industry has been funneled into marketing/advertising campaigns (not research). Therefore a cyclical process of advertising to pay for advertising while promoting more advertisments for these particular products become overwhelmingly the ultimate goal for these industries.
While the drug industry promotes medications especially SSRI's, the public is bombarded with the message that 1) depression, anxiety, and other social disorders are rampant in the U.S. 2) the only way to cure such problems are through various types of SSRI's - depending on which corporation you choose and 3) most importantly, unnessesary or misdiagnosed treatments are recommended because both the doctors and patients are heavily influenced by these advertised drugs. Recently, the realization that these SSRI's might not be for everyone has come to the attention of the American Public due to the suicidal issues of young people on these particular medications. Suffice to say, we know advertising works to influence an individual's decision to purchase items if it didn't work advertising as an industry would crumble. More importantly, the advertising industry is also designed to CREATE NEEDS in order to promote whatever product. Of course, this relates to the overaching push of social disorders and the medical fixes available.
It is time for the FDA (under-budgeted and under-staffed that it is) to stop playing to the needs of big bussiness and government and start addressing the needs of the American Public. For those that have real medical issues steps need to be taken to insure many alternatives and choices are available to promote health and well-being. The pendullum has swung far to one side and it is time that the FDA reign in and control the massive drug pushing especially SSRI's.
Interestingly enough all of my friends and family who either requested or were suggested by doctors to take anti-depressants were detrimentally affected by these perscriptions and all ended up getting off of them because it became problematic to their health (and not because they didn't stay on it for the recommended amount of time for the "effects" to take place). I really don't think that my some of my friends and family are the only ones who have had these experiences (all of which wished they had never gone through it in the first place). I also feel that my friends and family are intelligent human beings who are no different than everyone else in making decisions about thier health and well-being.
I appreciate your time on this matter and hope that you act upon the many requests that people are making in changing the dynamics of DTC advertising.