Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie,
MD, PhD, Senior Editor.
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.
Evans GW, Friede AI. Liability for Adverse Events in Direct-to-Consumer AdvertisingLiability for Adverse Events in Direct-to-Consumer Advertising. JAMA. 2003;289(20):2646. doi:10.1001/jama.289.20.2646-a