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Google, Yahoo Urge FDA to Update Ad Guidelines

Nov14

Written by:
2009/11/14 01:28 AM RssIcon

PillsInternet giants Google and Yahoo have lined up with the pharmaceutical industry in asking the U.S. government to draft new rules that would give drug companies more latitude to advertise online. Current U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations require that any mention of a drug's benefits must also reveal its risks, including detailed lists of side effects. But drug makers and Web companies attending a two-day hearing this week on online marketing of medical products said the rule hampers them, given online space constraints. - USA News

According to current FDA rules, every advertisement that mentions benefits of a drug, must also disclose its risks. This could potentially be a great revenue loss for Google. Advertised risks could scare people away from clicking through adverts. Click throughs area huge revenue stream in the ad industry. The drug companies benefit from brand awareness as well.

Yahoo and its competitor, Google, are proposing new types of ads. Ads that would carry links to detailed drug information. But this is just a work around. The aim is obviously to not show the risks thereby encouraging more click throughs.

What confuses me is, how does it help the consumer, the sick patient, to advertise prescribed drugs. Isn't the doctor the one qualified to prescribe the best drugs that fit the Diagnosis.

This is crazy, what are you going to do when you go to your Doctor? When he prescribes Drug X, you say no, I hear that Drug Y is better, I'd rather have that. It is ridicules. It's not about getting the best medication to the patients, but about making money. 

Leave the decision to prescribe the right drugs to the qualified doctors, don't try and influence the patients with targeted advertising.

Now I can understand the need for drug advertising when it comes to over the counter pharmaceuticals like headache tablets, but then we should be made aware of the risks. Should we not.

Yahoo, Google stick to what you do best, search. Don’t try to manipulate the advertising to suite you financial needs.

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