Wednesday, May 20, 2009

After FDA Warning, J&J Yanks Online Video for Pain Med

By Jacob Goldstein
Original post: WSJ Health Blog

In the latest sign that drug marketers continue to struggle with advertising rules in the online world, the FDA sent this warning letter to J&J, advising the company that an online video for its pain drug Ultram ER “omits and minimzed the serious risks of the drug.”

The letter also says the video claims benefits for the drug “that have not been demonstrated” and calls on the company to “immediately cease dissemination” of the video, which appeared on the Web site

J&J is reviewing the letter and will respond to the FDA, a spokesman told the WSJ. “The video in question has been removed; it’s no longer available to the public,” the spokesman said.

According to the FDA letter, the video included six minutes of testimonials from a doctor and a patient. The final minute of the video contained risk information, but it was presented in “a telescript format, with rapidly scrolling text in small type font, and with no accompanying audio presentation,” the FDA letter said. The letter was brought to our attention by this report from Dow Jones Newswires.

J&J was one of 14 drug makers that received FDA warning letters earlier this year regarding text ads the companies bought to accompany certain Google searches.

And last year, an online ad for J&J’s painkiller Motrin caused a bit of a stir — not with the FDA, but with moms who didn’t like the ad’s take on wearing babies in a sling (watch the ad here). J&J took down the ad and apologized.

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