Wednesday, April 05, 2006

DDMAC Advocates Separate Style For Disease / Brand Ads

DDMAC Advocates Separate Style For Disease / Brand Ads

(from DTC Insights, April 2006)


The FDA is revising 2004’s draft guidance on help seeking and disease awareness ads to incorporate industry comments, and is looking closely at how these ads incorporate “presentational elements” from the corresponding branded ads. Thomas Abrams, director of DDMAC, cautioned marketers about “seeing how close they can get” to having a disease-awareness and a product ad follow a similar style and format.


“When this happens, it results in a violative or problematic advertisement,” Abrams said at a Drug Information Association event in New York. “Keep these things separate.” Abrams said what’s best for patients should be the guiding factor in disease education and branded ads, and marketers should strive to do “the right thing.” The right thing is to “not have promotion without risk information by looking for a loophole.” The challenge is to create unbranded communications that also impact the brand. Otherwise the shift to disease education may not endure.



* The budget shift into disease ed (spending up 78% in 2005) has generated a positive response. Expect the FDA to closely monitor the disease ads for possible links to


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