FDA: Keeping Up with the Flood of Pharma Ads

Much has been written about truth in advertising in pharmaceutical advertising. The FDA has admitted they can't keep up with all of the ads coming out of traditional media like TV and magazines. And they can't even begin to monitor new media where much of the current action is. So what can be done?

Well, how about using informatics to set up a registry of advertising? This technique is already being used to monitor the incidence of disease states like cancer and diabetes. It seems to me that similar registries could be set up with all advertising that needs FDA review and approval. Out of fairness to the pharma industry, the FDA monitoring system should be efficient enough to review and give comments on proposed ad campaign in a reasonable amount of time. I realize we are talking about a huge number of ads. So let's get smart and use technology. Right now, the FDA seems to lack the most rudimentary elements of a technological approach to the problem. Maybe Big Pharma could help set up the system. Dare I suggest this could be an opportunity for collaboration between government and industry on a subject that is of critical concern to the public?

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