Big Tobacco’s dirty tricks in opposing plain packaging

The Conversation, 17 October 2016
Author: Jenny Hatchard
“Tobacco companies want to sell you cigarettes today, tomorrow and for the foreseeable future. Whether you’re at the tobacco counter or out with friends, glitzy cigarette packaging is a really important part of their sales pitch. Tobacco companies are aware of this. It’s why they are so opposed to their cigarettes being put in plain packaging.”
Find article here.

U.S. Supreme Court declines to hear tobacco arbitration dispute

Reuters, 11 October 2016
Author: Lawrence Hurley
“The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday let stand lower court rulings allowing Pennsylvania and Maryland to keep tens of millions of dollars in a dispute with tobacco companies involving the massive 1998 settlement over deceptive marketing and advertising of cigarettes.”
Find article here.

Look Who’s Bearing The Cost Of Pharma’s Long-Time Sales And Marketing Tactics

Forbes, 26 August 2016
Author: Erika Kelton
“For decades, drug manufacturers have undertaken aggressive and sometimes illegal marketing to boost profits, even when patients’ health is at risk. The arrest of two pharma sales employees in June underscores that Big Pharma is not simply a bystander to the nation’s opioid overdose epidemic. Pharma’s no-holds-barred promotional tactics are an integral cause of this tragedy.”
Find article here.

FDA Sanctions Off-Label Drug Promotion

Health Affairs Blog, online 19 July 2016
Authors: Deborah Mazer and Gregory Curfman
“Physicians have the authority to prescribe drugs for any reason they believe will benefit the patient, regardless of whether the use is on- or off-label. Off-label prescription is neither illegal nor unethical when based on the best available evidence. By contrast, off-label promotion—unlike off-label use—has heretofore invited legal liability including criminal charges, penalties under the False Claims Act, and misbranding actions by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). …The recent settlement between the FDA and Amarin Corporation, a pharmaceutical company with one approved product, Vascepa® (icosapent ethyl), a fish oil product that lowers serum triglyceride levels…permits Amarin to engage in truthful and non-misleading promotion of Vascepa for an off-label use. Though the settlement applies only to this case, it marks a significant change in FDA policy on off-label drug promotion.”
Find article here.

Nurofen advert banned over misleading claims it can target specific pain

The Independent, 29 June 2016
Author: Siobhan Fenton
“An advert for painkiller tablets Nurofen has been banned for falsely claiming it could target specific types of pain. The Advertising Standards Authority made the ruling following complaints about television adverts broadcast by the company in the UK.”
Find article here.

ACCC launches federal court action against e-cigarette companies over allegedly misleading ‘non-toxic’ claims

SMH, 20 June 2016
Author: Kate Aubusson
“Two major electronic cigarette retailers have been accused of false advertising and misleading conduct by claiming their products don’t contain potentially harmful toxic chemicals.”
Find article here.

AHPRA and Chiropractic Board take action on false or misleading advertising

AHPRA, statement online 18 January 2016
“The Chiropractic Board of Australia and AHPRA are working with other regulators to act on concerns about potentially false or misleading advertising by a small number of chiropractors. Australia’s regulators are focused on advertising that makes claims about the benefits of chiropractic care when these may not be supported by sufficient evidence.”
Find full statement here. See also ‘Chiropractic board in firing line‘ (MJA Insight).

Tobacco company wants schools survey for insights into children and teens

SMH, 19 August 2015
Authors: Nick McKenzie and Richard Baker
“A global tobacco giant is using freedom of information laws to obtain data from surveys by thousands of Victorian school children and teenagers that reveal their attitudes to smoking and alcohol.
Public health advocates believe “Big Tobacco” may use the data to hone their marketing of cigarettes to teenagers, as well as to fight plain packaging laws first implemented in Australia and now being introduced across the globe. There are also concerns the data could be shared with alcohol companies.”
Find article here.

Drug execs behind female libido pill have run afoul of FDA

The Seattle Times, 14 August 2015
Author: Matthew Perrone
“A small drugmaker from North Carolina may succeed next week where many of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies have failed: in winning approval for the first drug to boost women’s sexual desire. But Slate’s marketing push ran afoul of federal rules, making misleading, unsupported statements about the benefits of testosterone therapy while downplaying risks. In fact, when the Food and Drug Administration held a meeting examining the overprescribing of testosterone last year, it played Slate’s commercial as an example of inappropriate marketing.”
Find article here.

Edible Marijuana Labels Often Have Potency Wrong, Study Says

NYT, 23 June 2015
Author: Catherine Saint Louis
“An analysis of 75 edible marijuana products sold to patients in Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles found that labels on just 17 percent accurately described their levels of THC, the main psychoactive ingredient, researchers reported Tuesday. Sixty percent of the products had less THC than their packages advertised, and 23 percent of them had more THC than claimed.”
Find article here.