Consumer Reports says TV commercials for Roche and GlaxoSmithKline's Boniva osteoporosis treatment are "misleading." (Video below.)
The watchdog group has road-tested a bunch of drug ads and not liked what it found. The CR format is amusing -- they play sections of the ad and CR associate editor Jamie Kopf Hirsch provides a sarcastic commentary.
In terms of the Boniva ads, which featureactress Sally Field, CR said that the ad could have been more forthcoming about the price of the drug and the fact that it is not more effective than generic alternatives. CR:
... that convenience comes at a price--it can set you back about 10 times the cost of the similar drug alendronate (the generic version of Fosamax).
... studies don't show that Boniva is any more effective than other bisphosphonates. So unless you absolutely can't tolerate a weekly dosing schedule, it makes sense to try the generic first, even if it means you won't take the same drug as Sally.CR has also looked at ads for Seasonique, Cialis, Rozerem, and Requip. DTC Perspectives' Bob Ehrlich isn't a fan of the series:
The web piece is titled "Sally Field and Boniva-Great spokeswoman, misleading ad." I could not find anything which supported the "misleading" portion in the title.
... I guess Ms. Hirsh would like the Boniva ad to point out that other drugs are available at lower cost. I think it would be nice if all companies told you what else is available from competitors, but then that would not be advertising.