Tuesday, April 7, 2009

FDA cracks down on search-engine ads

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According to FiercePharma.com, fourteen companies, including Biogen Idec, Pfizer, Sanofi-Aventis, GlaxoSmithKline, Roche received warning letters from the FDA about "sponsored links" within Google's search engine. The links go to the advertised drug's website where plenty of information is available. The big issue was that the FDA didn't like that Biogen's Tysabri search engine ads--e.g., "A Multiple Sclerosis Treatment That's Different from the Others"--didn't mention the drug's connection to the potentially fatal brain infection PML. And FDA thinks Sanofi's search links "misleadingly suggest Plavix is safer than has been demonstrated." So what will Pharma do to promote their websites and drug education while also providing enough information for the public.

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