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Study: Most pharmaceutical ads do not adhere to FDA guidelines

August 18, 2011
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NEW YORK — Only 18 percent of pharmaceutical advertisements are compliant with Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines, according to a study led by Mount Sinai School of Medicine researchers.

Of the 192 pharmaceutical advertisements in biomedical journals that were analyzed, only 18 percent were compliant with Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines, and over half failed to quantify serious risks including death.

The study is published online in the journal Public Library of Science (PLoS) One.

“Marketing research has consistently shown that journal advertising is the most profitable form of drug marketing, with an estimated return on investment of $5 for every dollar spent,” said Dr. Deborah Korenstein, lead author of the study and associate professor of medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. “Our study, the first in nearly 20 years to provide a systematic assessment of the adherence of U.S. advertisements to FDA guidance, shows that the current system is not in the best interest of the health of the public.”
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