The research is getting underway at a time when the American Medical Association is advocating for a ban on prescription drug ads, the American public is infuriated over high drug prices, and pharmaceutical companies are increasingly advertising treatments for more serious conditions than had been seen on the airwaves before.The new study is part of an entire field of study by the FDA. In 2012, the agency published a report that found simple information in drug ads (a comparison to a placebo, for example) presented in certain ways helped people better understand how well the drug worked.advertisement APStock WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration wants to figure out just how well older Americans are able to comprehend the prescription drug ads they see on TV.In an upcoming study, described in a notice posted publicly late last week, the agency will test whether Americans 60 and older understand some of the more complex information presented in the commercials they see between network news and NFL football games. They want to test whether people understand more complex ads as well as they did simpler ads — or if it is too much information for people to process.Americans 60 and older will participate in the studies, the agency said, because they are more likely to be interested in the drug being studied and therefore more motivated to pay attention. The FDA noted that older people use more prescription drugs and watch more television than younger people.advertisement Related: Lawmaker seeks to end tax breaks for consumer drug ads Related: Drug makers now spend $5 billion a year on advertising. Here’s what that buys. PoliticsThe FDA wants to know how well older people understand TV drug ads Tags drug adsFDAgeriatricspolicy By Dylan Scott March 21, 2016 Reprints Julie Donohue, a University of Pittsburgh professor who has researched direct-to-consumer drug advertising, characterized the FDA’s new study as an attempt to determine “how much can we throw at people and expect them to retain?”Participants will be shown TV ads twice for a fictional medication for cataracts. They will then take a survey gauging how well they understood the information in the ad, how well they retained the information, and how they ultimately perceived the drug’s risks and benefits.The ads will vary. Some will describe side effects more simply, for example, occurring in “10 percent or less” of patients; others will be much more specific — say, 6 percent to 10 percent. Some ads will give only a single outcome for taking the drug (52 percent improved their vision); others will offer an additional outcome (52 percent improved their vision and people were able to see on average 85 out of 100 letters in an eye chart test).In a related study, the agency will also examine whether different visuals — one that accurately represents the drug’s benefits, another that overstates them, or no image at all — affect how people perceive the information in the ads. The FDA has also undertaken a separate project researching whether cartoons in drug ads distort how viewers perceive the drug’s risks and benefits. The question of what information in drug ads is useful to consumers dates back at least to a 2004 study published in Health Affairs by Drs. Steven Woloshin and Lisa Schwartz of Dartmouth University. They found that a “benefit box” helped lower people’s perception of how well a drug worked — people tend to be overly optimistic about how well advertised medications work without information being put in context, experts say.A 2011 study published in the Journal of Health Communication focused specifically on the elderly and found that their ability to understand drug ads was dependent on how well they were able to understand other kinds of medical information. If they were less literate in medical information, they were less able to understand the ads — a finding that “alerts us to the inadequate informational values of (direct-to-consumer) ads for consumers who truly need such information in order to be more educated and empowered,” the authors wrote.Meredith Rosenthal, a Harvard University professor who has studied drug advertising, said she wasn’t sure how much progress can be made in improving comprehension of TV drug ads. Some research suggests that drug ads mostly serve as a motivator to get people to go see their doctor, and so it’s not clear how much their content actually matters.“I’m not sure how critical it is that consumers understand those risks,” she said. “I think what’s critical is that physicians understand that.”She added, though, that she saw the FDA study as “a completely legitimate question to ask and potentially important pursuit.”And even if the net effect of most drug ads is driving people to the doctor’s office, Donohue thought more detailed information in those ads could still change people’s behavior.“I think this information could have an effect on whether patients actually ask for medications,” she said. “If it changes the perception of efficacy and safety … then it will change the behavior.”
Researchers from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health conducted the poll earlier this month in cooperation with the National Public Health Information Coalition, an organization of health communications professionals. (STAT regularly partners with the Harvard school on polls but was not involved with this particular survey.)Overall, the poll captured that sizable portions of the public are not sure or are wrong about how Zika spreads and manifests in people. Forty percent did not know the virus can be sexually transmitted, and 31 percent thought — incorrectly — that the virus can migrate through coughing and sneezing.Almost 4 in 10 people believe a woman who contracts the virus may be at higher risk for having a baby with birth defects in the future. Researchers are still studying how long the virus can stay harbored in the body, but so far, the evidence indicates that Zika clears the blood in a week or so, and after that a woman will not face an elevated possibility of defects in subsequent pregnancies.The poll surveyed 1,275 adults by phone, including 105 people who live in homes where someone is pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant in the next year. The overall results are accurate to within 3.23 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. @DrewQJoseph About the Author Reprints By Andrew Joseph March 29, 2016 Reprints Related: A majority of Americans would support spraying against mosquitoes if Zika appeared in their area. Orlando Sierra/AFP/Getty Images Two-thirds of the public take regular precautions in the summer to escape mosquitoes. For specific countermeasures, 56 percent said they wear repellant, and 55 percent remove standing water around their homes, which deprives mosquitoes of breeding grounds near people.For mosquito control at a larger scale, 81 percent of responders said they would approve of ground spraying in their cities or towns if Zika cases appeared, and 66 percent said they would support spraying from the air under those circumstances.advertisement Andrew Joseph Health1 in 3 Americans think you can catch Zika from a sneeze Everything you need to know about Zika virus General Assignment Reporter Andrew covers a range of topics, from addiction to public health to genetics. The majority of Americans know the basic facts about Zika virus, but misperceptions abound about how the virus spreads and causes disease.That’s the take-home message of a national poll released Tuesday, which found that 87 percent of the US public knows that Zika is transmitted by mosquitoes, but a good-sized minority is unaware or misinformed about how else the virus is contracted.The Zika virus has been spreading rapidly in the Americas, but so far there has been no mosquito-borne transmission in the continental United States. Experts think that could change come summer when mosquitoes become more active, and the poll found some positives signs.advertisement [email protected] Tags microcephalymosquitoesZika Virus
General Assignment Reporter Liz focuses on cancer, biomedical engineering, and how patients feel the effects of Covid-19. APstock What is it? Log In | Learn More STAT+ is STAT’s premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond. [email protected] About the Author Reprints GET STARTED What’s included? Elizabeth Cooney And the CRISPR science prizes go to… By Elizabeth Cooney Feb. 16, 2017 Reprints Tags geneticslegal In case you haven’t heard enough about Wednesday’s CRISPR patent ruling, we decided to tally up the winners in another court: the world of scientific prizes.Turns out, it’s not so easy to discern who’s ahead in prizes awarded for science related to CRISPR. But dollars and shares are two ways to get a sense. Some awards are announced with prize money amounts; some aren’t. Unlock this article — plus daily coverage and analysis of the biotech sector — by subscribing to STAT+. First 30 days free. GET STARTED Biotech @cooney_liz Daily reporting and analysis The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters Subscriber-only newsletters Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day STAT+ Conversations Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations Exclusive industry events Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country The best reporters in the industry The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry And much more Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr.
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly attributed findings of fact to the Texas Medical Board. The findings of fact were issued by the State Office of Administrative Hearings, and were incorporated into the board staff’s proposed decision, along with the board staff’s proposed sanctions. In the board’s filings last summer, it accused Burzynski of unethical and unprofessional conduct regarding clinical trials of gravely ill patients. Those charges included improper care, deceptive advertising, and the use of unlicensed staff, among others.In the findings of fact issued Wednesday, the board’s staff quoted findings of fact issued by the Texas State Office of Administrative Hearings, which found insufficient evidence of deceptive advertising. However, it found, among other violations, that Burzynski in at least one case failed to follow the treatment protocol to which a patient initially consented, and that one of Burzynski’s clinicians misrepresented herself as being authorized to practice medicine.Elsewhere in the findings of fact, the Office of Administrative Hearings found that there was insufficient evidence to suggest patients suffered harm as a result of the violations.“Respondent’s continued practice in treating advanced cancer patients is a present value to the cancer community,” it read. “Respondent’s treatments have saved the lives of cancer patients, both adults and children, who were not expected to live.”In addition to the recommended fines, the board’s staff proposed ordering Burzynski to submit all patient-consent forms to the Board’s medical director for review, and complete a course in ethics. A long-running battle between the Texas Medical Board and controversial Houston doctor Stanislaw Burzynski could be coming to a head.The board’s staff said this week that it had proposed $380,000 in fines and a stiff set of sanctions for Burzynski’s failure to adhere to proper medical procedures in treating cancer patients. The decision is preliminary, and will be submitted and formally reviewed on March 3.The recommendations formally called for the revocation of Burzynski’s license, but the board’s staff then recommended suspending that sanction, pending a probationary period of at least four years, during which the physician’s work would undergo strict monitoring.advertisement By Bob Tedeschi Feb. 16, 2017 Reprints Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski, center, seen here in 1997, during a news conference and surrounded by supporters. David J. Phillip/AP To help cancer patients, lawmakers pushed access to a controversial doctor Burzynski declined comment, but his lawyer, Melanie Rubinsky, said the physician would submit his own proposed ruling in advance of the March 3 board meeting. “The proposed order is not final until the full board signs off on it,” she said. “It’s not a done deal.”Under Texas law, even if the board adopts the staff recommendations, Rubinsky said Burzynski could pursue a court appeal.advertisement HealthTexas board recommends sanctions against controversial cancer doctor Related: Tags cancerphysicians
By Ed Silverman March 16, 2018 Reprints Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT+ and enjoy your first 30 days free! GET STARTED Pharmalot What is it? Are consumers overpaying at the pharmacy counter? GET STARTED Daily reporting and analysis The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters Subscriber-only newsletters Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day STAT+ Conversations Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations Exclusive industry events Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country The best reporters in the industry The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry And much more Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr. Americans may be overpaying for their prescription medicines nearly one-quarter of the time, although the average amount was relatively modest — less than $8. And there were more overpayments involving generic drugs than brand-name medicines, according to a new analysis.Of about 9.5 million prescription insurance claims filed from January to June 2013, 2.2 million involved overpayments, and these totaled $135 million, or $10.51 per person, according to the analysis that was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. And about 17 percent of the claims resulted in an overpayment exceeding $10. Pharmalot Columnist, Senior Writer Ed covers the pharmaceutical industry. Ed Silverman Log In | Learn More [email protected] STAT+ is STAT’s premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond. What’s included? About the Author Reprints APStock @Pharmalot Tags drug pricingpharmaceuticalsSTAT+
What is it? @eemershon What’s included? By Erin Mershon April 23, 2018 Reprints With a new slate of appointees, Trump’s FTC expected to take tough stand on drug industry About the Author Reprints STAT+ is STAT’s premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond. [email protected] Politics Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT+ and enjoy your first 30 days free! GET STARTED Log In | Learn More GET STARTED WASHINGTON — They are little-known lawyers and professionals — with almost no experience in health care. And yet they are poised to play an outsized role in the federal effort to bring down high prescription drug prices.The five men and women are in line to take charge of the Federal Trade Commission — a role that will let them decide whether to investigate companies over potentially anti-competitive tactics, whether to block mergers or acquisitions, and whether to demand more information about secretive business practices. Tags pharmaceuticalspolicySTAT+ Erin Mershon Senior News Editor Daily reporting and analysis The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters Subscriber-only newsletters Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day STAT+ Conversations Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations Exclusive industry events Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country The best reporters in the industry The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry And much more Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr. Adobe