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Sex, Drugs, and Hard Slaps by Overworked Chaps

By® Staff

Originally Posted

If drugs make the world go 'round, the United States is on full tilt. The FDA is near overdose trying to keep up with its role assessing drug ad pitches. With 35 percent more drugs being introduced to market since 1996, the FDA is sorting through millions of pieces of marketing literature ranging from Viagra to Vioxx.

Fortunately, the number of citation letters issued for false or misleading information has decreased. While drug makers say their materials are more accurate, the FDA says its staffing isn't keeping up with the sludge of new drugs being released.

The lack of eyeballs to scrutinize television spots, magazine ads, and Internet sites leaves a wide gap for fudge factor for companies like Merck to paint a rosier picture of its products.

Merck recently received a warning letter for overselling the alleged safety of Vioxx in a press release and at a conference. Merck's actions beg this dreaded public relations question: Will over-hyping, puffery-injecting PR firms eventually lead to the formation of a monitoring force over our industry like the FDA over its?

Where's my Valium?

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