FDA Plans to Conduct Research on Prescription Drug Ads

In a document posted online on March 1, 2016, the FDA outlined its plan to recruit 1,500 volunteers as part of a study aimed at finding out how cartoons in drug advertisements influence how viewers see those medications and their risks. The American Medical Association in November 2015 called for a ban on direct-to-consumer drug ads. The concern is that personifying illnesses, while it could help the viewer remember the drug, might not help people capture information like adverse events associated with it. Participants in the study will watch different commercials featuring different cartoons and human actors and answer a questionnaire. Latest data (Kantar Media) indicate the health care industry spent $14 billion on advertisements in 2014, up 20% since 2011. Related: See Business Insider (03/01/16) NCPIE Related: Communicating about Your Medication’s Benefits and Potential Risks