Friday, March 09, 2007

When DDMAC Attacks

Insomnia drug Rozerem's Your Dreams Miss You advertising campaign may have crossed the line into Nightmare for its marketer, Takeda. (if we can find a copy of the problematic spot, we'll post it here. meanwhile, enjoy Rozerem's pitch in happier times.)

Abe & the beaver, in better days

Admired for their off-beat and clever take on the results of insomnia (and questioned for being too convoluted for the average consumer), the ads, say the FDA, may have gone too far this time.

The agency's division of drug marketing, advertising, and communications (DDMAC) slapped the drugmaker with a warning letter for one of its ten-second reminder ads. For such a short spot, the ad broke a ton of rules. Some of DDMAC's more serious allegations point out that while Rozerem is not indicated for use in children, some of the language in the ad is misleading:
The combination of these statements ("Back to School") and images of school-aged children and school-related objects suggest that Rozerem is indicated for and can be safely used in the pediatric population. The presentation in the TV ad is especially concerning given that the PI for Rozerem includes the following Precaution regarding pediatric use: "Safety and effectiveness of ROZEREM in pediatric pateints have not been established. Further study is needed prior to determining that this product may be used safely in pre-pubescent and pubescent patients." (FDA's emphasis)

That study is warranted because of Rozerem's known affect on reproductive hormones in adults--decreased testosterone levels and increased prolactin levels. Making matters worse, Takeda failed to submit the ad to FDA "at the time of initial dissemination" as required by current regulations.

Yikes, Honest Abe would not be happy. Takeda, go sit in the corner. You're in a time-out.

Incidentally, it makes one wonder who's next ... perhaps the FDA will crack down on Osama bin Laden's endorsement of the erectile dysfunction drug Levitra?

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