Pharma Ad: Not Quite Misleading

Take a look at this pharmaceutical ad. (I’ve blocked out the drug’s name, because it’s not relevant, and because I don’t want to advertise it.)

What’s your impression? What kind of drug is this? What kind of settings should it be used in? Obviously you can’t really tell, but what’s your impression>

Would you be surprised to know that it’s an ad for a narcotic pain reliever? Yup, highly addictive. Made by Hawthorn Pharmaceuticals, and approved by the FDA to treat ‘moderate to moderately severe’ pain in children.

Now, I don’t actually know where this ad appeared. I suspect it was in a professional journal or magazine, aimed at physicians — and physicians would know from the mention of hydrocodone in the ad that this is an opiate, and not to be messed with. So it’s unlikely anyone is going to be misled by this ad. But one certainly wants to ask what impression Hawthorn is trying to foster here. Is this really a drug to help your kid through the aches & pains from that karate tournament?

This might be a good illustration of the line between what’s illegal and what’s unethical. If this ad were truly misleading, it would be illegal. As it is, it’s merely ethically questionable.

The ad appears on the company’s page about the product.

Thanks once again to Pharmalot.

1 comment so far

  1. […] that’s for good reasons. (I’ve blogged about some of those reasons here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here, just to cite a few examples. See also some of the entries on the other […]

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