Doug / 09-28-2011 / Pharmacy Errors

Study Finds Drug Ads In Medical Journals Frequently Mislead

According to the American Association for Justice, a study has found that drug ads in medical journals are frequently misleading. The advertisements are a major source of revenue for medical journals, producing millions of dollars each year. The advertisements are a prime source of information about the dozens of medications new to the market, and the study said misinformation could lead to doctors prescribing inappropriate drugs.

Medical journals’ editors supposedly have a system for evaluating scientific articles they publish and screen drug advertisements for taste, but not for content. The University of California at Los Angeles study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine journal, found that prescription drugs are over-advertised and 109 advertisements on various journals were buttressed by an FDA examination of the same advertisements.

Dr. David A. Kessler, the Commissioner of Food and Drugs said that there was indeed a problem of misleading drug advertisements and that the number of misleading ads in the study was disturbingly high. The FDA has increased the number of employees overlooking drug company advertising and promotional efforts, but the federal agency rarely reviews drug ads before they are printed. The Commissioner said it should not be up to the agency alone to review appropriate advertising and that the pharmaceutical industry itself should have the biggest influence on the quality of drug promotion.

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