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May 28, 2003

Liability for Adverse Events in Direct-to-Consumer AdvertisingLiability for Adverse Events in Direct-to-Consumer Advertising

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie, MD, PhD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2003;289(20):2646. doi:10.1001/jama.289.20.2646-a

To the Editor: We agree with Dr Mello and colleagues1 that there is no inherent incompatibility between DTCA of prescription drugs and the ongoing application in product liability litigation of the so-called learned intermediary doctrine. We believe that DTCA empowers patients with information to help them engage in a meaningful dialogue with their physicians about the benefits and risks of prescription drug therapy. At the same, it is the physician who, based on a drug's operational labeling (ie, the package insert) and knowledge about the patient, is in the best position to communicate relevant risk information, and it is the physician who has the ultimate responsibility for the prescribing decision. In this respect, we believe that DTCA supports, and does not erode, the prescribing physician's role in the patient-physician relationship.

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