A Spoonful of PR Helps the Medicine Get Buzz

After the industry group Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) issued a voluntary code of conduct for direct-to-consumer (DTC) drug advertising, drug companies "are hoping to skirt the issue" by "getting more executives and experts quoted in major newspapers and magazines and sitting across from Katie Couric on 'The Today Show'," reports Advertising Age. The voluntary guidelines include waiting "an appropriate amount of time" after a drug is approved before companies advertise it, to give health professionals time to learn about the new medication. "We don't view these types of activities as 'skirting' the code of conduct," said PhRMA's Ken Johnson. "The new PhRMA guidelines are aimed at improving the educational value of DTC advertising, but there have been numerous other ways that companies, scientists and the medical community have reached out to patients."