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Comment & Response
December 2016

Cancer Care Institutions and Advertising—Reply

Author Affiliations
  • 1Center for Medicine and the Media, Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, Lebanon, New Hampshire
JAMA Intern Med. 2016;176(12):1877-1878. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.6960

In Reply In their Letter to the Editor, Markman and Daneker’s call for advertising guidelines is welcome, but their suggestion to have industry write those guidelines is not. Industry's financial conflicts are too strong, and its track record too weak to pass the laugh test as a credible source of guidance.

Instead, guidelines should be written by an independent third-party entity that explicitly serves the public interest. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), for example, might be ideal: the commission understands the issues and has vast experience scrutinizing ads. Because claims in the advertisements sometimes involve tests, drugs and devices, a joint FTC-US Food and Drug Administration taskforce might make sense to ensure sufficient content area expertise.

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