Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie,
MD, PhD, Senior Editor.
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.
Mello MM, Rosenthal MB, Neumann PJ. Liability for Adverse Events in Direct-to-Consumer Advertising. JAMA. 2003;289(20):2646. doi:10.1001/jama.289.20.2646-a