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Medical News & Perspectives
June 24, 2009

FDA Tells Drug and Device Makers to Give Balanced Picture of Risks in Ads, Labels

JAMA. 2009;301(24):2541. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.881

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is advising the makers of medications and medical devices to avoid misleading consumers with marketing strategies that deemphasize the risks of these products.

Promotional materials that omit or minimize risk information are the most frequent reason the agency issues enforcement letters to companies, and the FDA says it has received requests from industry for clarification about what it considers a violation. In the new guidance (http://www.fda.gov/cder/guidance/7427dft.pdf), the agency emphasizes that simply including risk information is not enough to satisfy its requirements; rather, the agency weighs whether marketing materials leave consumers or clinicians with a balanced impression of a product's risks and benefits.

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