Survey to investigate TV ad’s method of disclosing drug risks

Pennsylvania residents who take prescription medications are aware that each drug has some potential risks associated with it. Knowing this is important and every person can research details as needed. Additionally, patients routinely look to their doctors or pharmacists to provide valuable information about drugs in order to avoid prescription medication errors and associated problems.

In recent years, the pharmaceutical industry has routinely marketed prescription-only drugs directly to consumers, especially on television. These ads commonly include long lists of potential side effects that anyone taking the drugs should know about. A media article recently published indicates that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will be conducting a study of more than 15,000 Americans about these risk statements. The purpose of the study is to determine whether or not changes in the side effect disclaimers in TV ads should be made.

Some people believe that the current model allows for patients to ignore most warnings while others believe full disclosure is necessary. The article did not at all discuss the involvement of physicians in the ultimate decision to prescribe the drugs that may lead to any medication errors. Problems may involve not checking for allergies, a dosage mistake, prescribing the wrong drug or more.

A patient can suffer a serious injury due to a medication error even if he or she heard the list of risks on a television ad. Getting legal help in the wake of a drug error can be wise and offer a patient and any family members a good way to stay protected.

Source: New York Daily News, “FDA looks into limiting TV commercials’ rambling lists of drug risks,” James Warren, February 18, 2014