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May 28, 2003

Liability 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

In Reply: Dr Shein highlights the complexity of DTCA's impact on public health and hence the difficulty of crafting an appropriate regulatory and legal response. In particular, there is substantial face validity to his concern that advertisements can mislead patients or subtly alter their preferences in ways that cannot be overcome through subsequent discussions with their intermediaries. There is ample reason to closely monitor changes in physicians' ability to steer patients to appropriate treatments and to reconsider the learned intermediary rule if future studies demonstrate that the assumptions on which it is based are no longer true.

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