Study Results Find Claims in TV Drugs Ads to be Misleading and False

By Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo & Plotkin LLP

By Lisa S. Cummings

Did you know that only about a third of advertisements for medications make statements that are “objectively true”? Most claims are found to be potentially misleading or exaggerated, leaving out important information instead of being factual. The study raises many concerns for consumers.

In September, a study appeared in the Journal of General Internal Medicine. Researchers analyzed 168 commercial advertisements that aired on nightly news. They went through each commercial’s main claim and found that 33 percent of them were objectively true while 57 percent were potentially misleading and the left over percentages were false. Most of the commercials showed unreasonable links to lifestyle improvement and opinions. The commercials that were used within this study were about 84 prescriptions and 84 nonprescription drugs. It is stated that “potentially misleading claims are prevalent throughout consumer-targeted prescription and nonprescription drug advertising on television.”

Allowing television drug commercials to portray potentially misleading information that is mostly based on opinion rather than fact harmfully impacts its consumers. As a litigation firm, we want to protect consumers from these false claims in advertisements for medication. We also encourage the FDA to have more scrutiny of these ads.

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