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FDA to determine if toll-free phone number is needed in drug advertisements


WASHINGTON The Food and Drug Administration might require drug advertisements to include a toll-free number that patients can call to report side effects.

The agency is interviewing 1,600 consumers to decide whether to make TV commercials to carry the number. It already requires print ads for drugs to include FDA contact information. The consumers will be shown a fictitious drug commercial and asked how much information they understand.

The FDA said it needs to determine whether including the phone number would made drug advertisements too complex. It already requires commercials to list drugs’ potential side effects, which often makes them significantly longer than commercials for other products.


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