October 29th, 2013
UPDATED: FDA aims to train docs to spot misleading drug ads--and report them
By Carly Helfand
As the feds continue to crack down on pharma marketing infractions and budget-minded states deploy their own reps to bring pharma promos down to earth, the FDA has upped its own stake in making sure advertisers play by the rules. The agency has launched an e-learning course aimed at teaching healthcare providers how to spot drug ads and promo materials that may be untruthful or misleading--and how to report them to the FDA.
The course, launched with MedScape, uses case studies to help students “become discerning readers of drug promotional information,” wrote Thomas Abrams, director of the FDA’s Office of Prescription Drug Promotion, on the blog FDA Voice. While anyone can take the course for a certificate of completion, the agency designed it for healthcare providers with hopes that schools that train them “would integrate the course into the general curriculum and utilize the case studies for in-class learning,” an FDA spokesperson told