Abel, Penson, Joffe et al. 225www.TheOncologist.comRecent DevelopmentsIn February of 2004, the FDA issued a draft Guidance for Industryregarding the information included in the brief summary portion of direct-to-consumer advertisements . Several pharmaceutical advertisers have responded by changing their practice of reprinting their approved package insert and now include more patient-friendly explanations of possible side effects. The FDA also recently issued Draft Guidancesfor industry comment purposes on consumer-directed broadcast advertising of restricted medical devices , as well as help-seeking and other disease awareness communications by or on behalf of drug and device firms . Such developments, especially the possibility of clearer language for the brief summary, were cautiously applauded, notably in a Janu-ary 2005 perspective piece in The New England Journal of Medicine.In July of 2005, Senator Frist, a former practicing physi-cian, called for a 2-year ban on direct-to-consumer adver-tising and asked for the Government Accounting Office to study the issue.  Dr. Frist’s suggestion was not taken
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