Rep. John Dingell is one source of
cholesterol nightmares for Big Pharma advertisers
Schering-Plough and Merck are halting their direct-to-consumer television ads for Vytorin, surely a sound decision given what appears to be a continuing free fall in use of the combination cholesterol therapy after the disclosure of the ENHANCE study results.Advertisers are worried about the impact on regulation of DTC in general. An excellent piece in Advertising Age spells out some of the concerns.
But just as the ads themselves highlight the "two sources of cholesterol," we think there are really two sources of concern about DTC raised by Vytorin.
The first is regulatory. Attacks on DTC are not going away, so advertisers are right to worry that any ammunition used against one ad can threaten tougher regulation for all. In this case, the Energy & Commerce Committee is already asking the sponsors and FDA to explain why the ads continued running long after the ENHANCE trial was complete.