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October 1994

Advertising Principles

Author Affiliations

Chief, Dermatology Section Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Section Bay Pines, FL 33504

Arch Dermatol. 1994;130(10):1328. doi:10.1001/archderm.1994.01690100118022

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In the February 1994 issue of the ARCHIVES, a threepage advertisement emphasizing the safety of Zovirax (acyclovir) was placed immediately adjacent to an article on the outcomes of pregnancy in women treated with Zovirax during pregnancy. This article reported no increased risk for birth defects among women exposed to Zovirax during pregnancy. This study was conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Ga, and the manufacturer of Zovirax. The placement of an advertisement focusing on the safety of a drug next to an article reporting the apparent safety of this drug in pregnant women is not appropriate, as it blurs the border between medical advertising and an unbiased medical report in a peer-reviewed medical journal. I believe that it should be the policy of the Archives to avoid placing advertisements for pharmaceutical products next to articles focusing on that particular pharmaceutical prod- uct. The placement of advertisements

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