Kessler hits DTC ads

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Former Food & Drug Administration Commissioner David Kessler, a strict opponent of direct-to-consumer drug TV ads while in office, continues to express reservations about the DTC boom that generated $1.3 billion in ad spending last year. Dr. Kessler said today at a forum sponsored by Time and Health that DTC ads "may interfere with the selection of the right prescription drug choice,'' and he suggested that drug companies may be shifting too much revenue into marketing at the expense of research and development. He stopped short of saying DTC TV ads should come to a halt and cited Viagra marketer Pfizer's ad featuring Bob Dole promoting treatment for erectile dysfunction as a positive example.

Copyright June 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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