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APhA CEO Blog

Limits on promotion of new drugs?

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September 30, 2009

In a policy paper, Improving FDA Regulation of Prescription Drugs, released Sept. 24, 2009, the American College of Physicians (ACP) proposed that FDA "be given the authority to require new drugs be labeled with a symbol that indicates it is a new drug and that direct-to-consumer advertising be limited for the first two years after a drug’s approval."

The paper makes five other important recommendations. The one I've singled out above has broad implications and is worthy of some debate within pharmacy.

Promotion advocates would suggest that such a proposal would limit access to important advances in medicine, while opponents might argue that a 2-year "soft launch" would protect consumers by allowing greater experience with products before significant promotion occurs. APhA has numerous policies regarding direct-to-consumer advertising, but nothing that would guide us regarding whether pharmacy would support or oppose the ACP proposal.

What do you think?