HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Concordia University School of Law

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Tired of all the Viagra Ads?

Viagra_hes_back03 He might not really be back.  . . . at least not if the Food and Drug Administration ("FDA") has its way.

CNNHealth reports that the FDA has requested that Pfizer Inc. pull two television advertisements for its Viagra impotence drug.  In a letter released on Monday, November 15th, the  FDA contends that the "wild thing" ads make unsubstantiated claims about a return of sexual desire and also fails to mention major side effects.

The FDA letter states, "FDA is not aware of substantial  evidence or substantial clinical experience demonstrating this benefit for patients who take Viagra," said the letter from the FDA's Division of Drug Marketing, Advertising, and Communications.   According to the article, the FDA further provided that Pfizer should immediately cease using the offending ads and any similar promotions.  Pfizer has been asked to comply by November 24th. 

So, our Thanksgiving television watching may be less risqué, but  then again, Cialis and Levitra are still out there.   In any event, it does appear that health concerns have fallen victim to marketing ploys in this ad and I hope that the FDA wins.  Next, if they could do something about the many rather explicit enhancement and impotence ads that some of us receive through e-mail everyday - they would become a very popular government agency - but perhaps I ask for too much.

Thanks to Jim Tomasweski, research student extraordinaire, for this item.

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