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August 10, 2005

Direct-to-Consumer Advertising and Physician Prescribing

Author Affiliations
  • 2Department of Clinical Bioethics, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md
JAMA. 2005;294(6):678. doi:10.1001/jama.294.6.678-a

To the Editor: In their study of the relationship between direct-to-consumer advertising and the prescribing practices of physicians, Dr Kravitz and colleagues1 conducted a randomized controlled trial using trained standardized patients (SPs). This design necessarily involved elaborate deception to produce unbiased data. The authors noted that “written informed consent for participation and audiorecording of visits was obtained from all participating physicians.” However, whether their research adequately respected the autonomy of physician research participants by obtaining informed consent is open to question.