The Food and Drug Administration is concerned that its current oversight regimen is based on conditions extent way back in the 1960s and is no longer adequate to meet challenges of today’s pharmaceutical and media marketplace. But new rules, if they’re coming at all, are not just around the corner. A major area of concern, according to the Associated Press, is that many over-the-counter medicines on the market that are aimed at children are ingredients tested on adults and then simply put into children’s versions with lower dosages. FDA believes that is needs more regulatory rules so it can restrict product marketing until it is satisfied that appropriate testing is completed. At the same time, the FDA is concerned that simply forcing all children’s medicines to be pulled completely off the market would result in parents giving them adult dosages. According to AP, conventional wisdom expects it will be tougher to market children’s drugs at the end of this process, but that a result of any kind from this inquiry may be years away.
RBR/TVBR observation: The consumer pharmaceutical advertising issue is fertile territory for intervention from watchdogs, bureaucrats and legislators alike. Trying to sell items to consumers they can only get by prescription; preventing the age-old American tradition of snake oil hucksterism; and in this case, marketing to children, are only some of the concerns that are good for easy scores for inside-the-Beltway reputation burnishing. This is one area of advertising where the push and pull is likely never to cease.