Fewer letters

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- By this time last year, the Food and Drug Administration had slapped warning letters on eight direct-to-consumer drug marketers and singled out another eight for less serious "untitled letters." This year, the tally is down to four warnings and five letters.

On Jan. 1, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America code of conduct for DTC advertising went into effect. Among other things, it asks companies to submit ads to the FDA for prior approval.

"FDA officials and others have indicated in public statements that advertisements airing since the PhRMA [guidelines] took effect in January have tended to be more educational and informative, and that companies are submitting advertisements to the FDA for review," said PhRMA senior VP Ken Johnson said in a statement. "Comments like these indicate that the guidelines are working."
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