Do medical device makers have any shame?

By: - December 5, 2008 2:54 pm

The Prescription Project, a partnership that tries to ensure that physician-industry relationships are free from conflicts of interest, is petitioning the FDA to stop medical device companies from posting ads to YouTube.

In an attempt to distort the spirit of laws governing direct-to-consumer advertising, Abbott, Medtronic, and Stryker posted videos to YouTube without including information that is required in tv spots. After Prescription Project protested the ads were pulled.

Medtronic, for example, had a YouTube video touting the benefits of its Prestige spinal disc. The ad featured an upbeat mom who can go about her daily life again after undergoing neck surgery. There was no information about what company produced the ad. There was no information on risk factors. And the video said that everyone who participated in a clinical trial benefited from the surgery.

Just when you think medical device makers and drug companies have stooped as low as possible in pushing their wares, they manage to surprise even the cynics. You can check here to download a copy of the citizen petition to the FDA and read more about the YouTube scandal.

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.