Class-Action Lawsuit Filed Against Claritin's Maker
Consumer groups have filed a class-action lawsuit against pharmaceutical giant Schering-Plough
The plaintiffs say their suit isn't passing judgement on the
FDA's effectiveness at supervising direct-to-consumer advertising one way or
the other, even though it's an agency responsibility. Sobol says his group's
goal is not to stop direct-to-consumer ads, but to focus on abuses where they
Meanwhile, WebMD has obtained a copy of a warning letter
written from the FDA to Schering-Plough on Aug. 18, 2000 alleging violations in
two Claritin print ads.
"The [agency] has reviewed these ads and concluded that
they are misleading and violate the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and
applicable regulations and should be discontinued immediately," says the
letter from Joan Hankin, JD, a consumer promotion analyst at the FDA.
Specifically, the correspondence accuses the company of
"misleading" readers by failing to list information on the product's
side effects. TV personality Joan Lunden was featured in the magazine spread,
which focused in part on the importance of school attendance.
"Like all parents, I want what's best for my children,
especially when it concerns their health. So when my daughter, Lindsay, kept
sneezing and sniffling, we visited her doctor. He said seasonal allergies were
the cause ... Once he prescribed a medication that wouldn't make her drowsy,
she felt better and so did I," said Lunden in the ad.