Tag Archives: drug companies

Communicating drug risks in pharma marketing: A new FDA challenge

Tara Haelle

About Tara Haelle

Tara Haelle (@TaraHaelle) is AHCJ's medical studies core topic leader, guiding journalists through the jargon-filled shorthand of science and research and enabling them to translate the evidence into accurate information.

pill bottle label

Photo: Joel Rorabaugh via FreeImages.com

Many American consumers may not realize this, but only New Zealand and the United States are the only countries with strong pharmaceutical regulations in which direct-to-consumer advertising from pharma companies is allowed.

All those TV commercials and double-spread ads for prescription drugs – whether it’s for erectile dysfunction drugs or mental disorders or high blood pressure or some chronic condition – are missing from the media in most of the world.

The way such ads look and sound (including the usual mind-numbing text block tucked into a print ad detailing risks and potential side effects, or a hastily spoken voice-over toward the end of a commercial), may soon change. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is revising regulations governing how companies communicate risk to consumers. Continue reading

Drug companies hit with punitive damages

Pia Christensen

About Pia Christensen

Pia Christensen (@AHCJ_Pia) is the managing editor/online services for AHCJ. She manages the content and development of healthjournalism.org, coordinates AHCJ's social media efforts and edits and manages production of association guides, programs and newsletters.

A jury has decided Teva Parenteral Medicines and Baxter Healthcare Corp. must pay a combined $500 million in punitive damages in a case involving a hepatitis C outbreak in Las Vegas.

The case, expected to be just the first of hundreds, alleged that the re-use of vials of the anesthetic propofol infected patients with the disease.

An attorney for former patient Henry Chanin said the vials provided by the companies were larger than necessary, while “drug company lawyers have maintained that the vials were marked with instructions and warnings, and medical professionals decided what sizes were appropriate.”

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