FDA Panel Seeks Ban On Some Cox-2 Ads

A Food and Drug Administration advisory committee has recommended banning direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising of cox-2 inhibitors after finding that the painkillers produced by Merck and Pfizer increased the risk of heart attacksand strokes. The FDA panel on Friday stopped short of banning Merck's Vioxx and Pfizer's Celebrex and Bextra but a majority recommended strong individually tailored -- black box -- warnings for the cardiovascular risk. A ban on cox-2 drugs DTC advertising was strongly urged by a consensus on the committee, which comprised 32 private medical experts. If a ban was not possible, the committee discussed regulatory measures including requiring advertisements devoted to risk warnings, or stronger placement of risk warnings in marketing.

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