When clicking on the link to the Food and Drug Administration website, it immediately takes me to the introductory page of the FDA site called, “Background on Drug Advertising.” On the left hand side there are links that take you to other pages, such as: a glossary of terms, questions you should ask yourself as a consumer when watching drug advertisements, and even a sample of correctly and incorrectly made drug advertisements. These are helpful to consumers because it arms people with the knowledge to identify if a drug advertisement is misleading or not. The site does a good job of putting their information under headings that make it easy to find information that somebody may be looking for, making the FDA website user friendly for consumers.
Specifically, what consumers may find to be the most beneficial on the website is the description of the requirements that different types of drug advertisements must include in their ads. Ads like those of product claim advertisement must include, what the drug is, its major risks, and “at least one FDA approved use for the drug.” among others. People have a right to know these things before deciding to take a product.
However, consumers may still be at risk because the advertisements are not required to name all of the side effects a drug may have, just some of them. Instead, companies may choose to tell consumers where else they can find more information on their drug. There is no requirement as to where that could be. The FDA only has suggestions as to where the company could put more information, like a website, providing a toll free number, or a printed ad in a magazine. These things should be required, not suggested. Also, not all types of advertisements are required to list their side effects, like Reminder and Help-Seeking Advertisements because they don’t describe what the drug does, even if it alludes to it. Despite not listing its uses consumers may still be at risk because a person may take the drug without knowing if it is really helpful or not. It may end up harming them instead. Especially if they don’t know if that drug may clash with another drug the consumer is taking or if it really will be beneficial to the condition the consumer has.
Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. (n.d.). Prescription Drug Advertising – Prescription Drug Advertising: Questions to Ask Yourself. Retrieved November 20, 2017, from https://www.fda.gov/Drugs/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/PrescriptionDrugAdvertising/ucm071915.htm