|Pfizer today said its DTC advertising will include more risk information and will reinforce the doctor-patient relationship.
PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY ISSUES DTC AD GUIDELINES
Softball Approach Rejects Calls for Restrictions or Moratorium
SENATE MAJORITY LEADER ENDORSES TWO-YEAR DTC AD BAN
Voluntary Moratorium Would Apply to New Drugs on Market
BRISTOL-MYERS SQUIBB ANNOUNCES NEW DTC POLICY
Will Cease Ads During First Year of a New Drug's Release
FDA ORDERS ELI LILLY TO PULL DTC DRUG COMMERCIAL
Cites Strattera TV Ad as False or Misleading
FDA ORDERS PFIZER'S BEXTRA WITHDRAWN
Cites 'Unfavorable' Risk vs. Benefits
FDA ORDERS ASTRAZENECA CRESTOR ADS PULLED
Cites 'Misleading Claims' in 'Clearly the Best' Ad Series
FDA ASKED PFIZER TO HALT CELEBREX ADS
No Indication How Long Suspension Will Last
PFIZER TO PULL CELEBREX CONSUMER ADVERTISING
But Says It Does Not Intend to Withdraw Drug From Market
MERCK PULLS $2.5 BILLION DRUG VIOXX OFF MARKET
$78 Million Advertising Account Is With DDB, FCB
The philosophical and strategic shift for the world's largest pharmaceutical company comes as the first wave of an expected sea change in the industry, which has been under ongoing fire from Congress to change the way it presents its marketing and advertising.
Voluntary code of conduct
PhRMA, the umbrella trade group for drug makers, presented its voluntary DTC code of conduct last week. Among the 15 points were calls for elimination of the 15-second reminder ads that do not have to present risk information; better presentation of risks vs. benefits; and Food and Drug Administration pre-approval of all ads.
Pfizer said its changes will be consistent with the PhRMA guidelines and will cover three major areas: to help encourage patient/physician dialogue that can lead to early diagnosis and appropriate treatment; to help consumers better understand the risks and benefits of prescription medicines; and to motivate people to overcome potential barriers to better health.
All changes will be in place before the end of 2005, the company said.
Encouraging patient/doctor dialogue
"Our advertising is meant to do two things. We want people to be aware of serious medical conditions and our medicines that treat those conditions, and we want to motivate them to talk to their doctors,” said Pfizer U.S. Pharmaceuticals President J. Patrick Kelly. “We believe it’s our responsibility to communicate this information effectively so patients can work with their health-care providers to make informed decisions about their health and get appropriately diagnosed and treated.”
$1 billion in ad spending
The company, which spends $1 billion in measured media on its brands, according to TNS Media Intelligence, also said that starting in 2006 it would match what it spends on a branded advertising campaign to create more disease awareness with advertisements that do not mention a product, such as the recent “Why Live With Depression?” campaign that featured actress Lorraine Bracco; address important public health issues such as health literacy, compliance or improving the patient/physician relationship through additional nonproduct advertising; and continue its dedicated advertising campaign and efforts to promote “Pfizer Helpful Answers.”
“DTC advertising is demonstrably helpful to patients, but it should be refined to be even more helpful,” said Karen Katen, Pfizer's vice chairman and president of Pfizer Human Health. “DTC ads have encouraged millions of patients to get earlier medical attention and to talk with their health-care providers. ... Today, we’re announcing changes to our DTC advertising to strengthen its educational benefits -- and to motivate patients to take earlier action and work with their health-care providers to take more-informed control over their health.”