Ditropan ad irks FDA

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The U.S. Food & Drug Administration warned Alza Corp. in a letter, dated June 1, that a direct-to-consumer TV spot for its Ditropan XL overactive bladder drug misrepresented the product's possible side effects. The letter was posted July 17 on the FDA's Web site. A spokesman at Mountain View, Calif.-based Alza said the company has tinkered with the ad from Rubin Ehrenthal, New York, to satisfy the FDA and the spot will continue airing. The FDA charged the ad failed to disclose that 61% of Ditropan users in clinical trials experienced dry mouth; the ad stated only that 1% of users stopped taking the drug due to dry mouth. The commercial is part of a campaign that launched last year, featuring active women playing golf and hiking. Alza spent $15.7 million in measured media on Ditropan last year, according to Competitive Media Reporting.

Copyright July 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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