Detox Facility Urges End to Direct-To-Consumer Prescription Drug Advertising

Detox Facility Urges End to Direct-To-Consumer Prescription Drug Advertising

Novus Medical Detox Facility of Pasco County, Florida Director states that one simple FDA rule change could begin to reverse the prescription drug abuse epidemic and its often tragic outcomes. “In 1997 the FDA changed the advertising rules for the drug companies and TV Direct-to-Consumer advertising instantly blanketed the networks.

The rise in prescription drug abuse, addiction, emergency room visits and deaths can be traced to this change.” the Director said. “The appropriate response to this rule is obvious – undo the change and let doctors prescribe drugs based on diagnosis and medical information, not TV advertising’s desirable images.” Prior to 1997, the FDA rules said, “Advertisements promoting the medical use of prescription drugs must contain a "brief summary" of all important information about the advertised drug, including its side effects, contraindications and effectiveness. In addition, advertisements broadcast over radio, TV or through telephone communications systems must include a "major statement" prominently disclosing all of the major risks associated with the drug.” Drug companies could not provide the required information about the drug in 30 second or one minute television ads.

The August 1997 FDA rule change, made quietly and without consulting Congress, allowed the drug companies to “...include information about any major risks, as well as instructions for how consumers can easily obtain more detailed information about the drug's approved uses and risks.” In lieu of providing a "brief summary," the advertiser would have to provide a mechanism to ensure that consumers can easily obtain full product labeling. In other words it is enough to quickly list some of the side effects along with a toll-free phone number or web address or advise the listener to speak with a physician. “This change in the rules converted prescription drugs into desired consumer products and their traditional role as a medical tool of necessity was lost.

Is it any surprise that the National Safety Council has now identified unintentional drug overdoses as one of the most significant home and community safety issues leading to an increase in deaths?” the Director asked. For those whose lives are negatively impacted by prescription drug abuse or addiction, whether influenced by TV direct-to-consumer advertising or not, medical detox is often a necessary step in dealing with the problem. It is effective in dealing with addiction, abuse or dependence problems with prescription drugs, heroin and even high-dose Methadone. While many medical drug detox programs take place in a hospital, Novus Medical Detox Center specializes in handling drug dependencies in a private setting that is stress-free, comfortable and safe. The facility, set on 3.2 wooded acres 45 minutes north of Tampa, FL, offers private rooms, TV and high speed internet access.

Detoxification programs at Novus provide detox services for people wishing to withdraw from drugs including opiate detox, heroin detox, psychotropic detox, alcohol detox, benzodiazepine detox and prescription drug detox. They can be reached at

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