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FDA SLAMS DRUG COMPANY FOR MISLEADING TV AD

News, 20 July 2000


America’s powerful Food & Drug Administration this week posted on its website (www.fda.gov) a letter of warning to pharmaceuticals manufacturer Alza Corporation.

The letter, which was dated June 1, criticized a direct-to-consumer TV campaign for the firm’s overactive bladder drug, Ditropan XL. This, said the FDA, misrepresented the drug’s possible side effects by failing to disclose that 61% of users in clinical trials experienced dry mouth. The ad stated only that 1% of users stopped taking the drug due to dry mouth.

The offending commercial is part of a campaign by Rubin Ehrenthal, New York. It shows active women playing golf and hiking. An Alza spoke says changes have now been made to ensure its ad toes the FDA line.

Competitive Media Reporting lists Ditropan as spending $15.7 million on advertising last year.

News source: Advertising Age - Daily Deadline