Last Updated May 12, 2010 11:13 AM EDT
This year to date, the FDA has issued 186 warning letters, a rate that indicates 2009 will be another big year for drug company discipline. Last year the FDA issued the most warning letters in years -- 570. In 2008, the last year of George W. Bush's administration, the FDA only sent 436 letters. The year before just 381 were sent:
Source: FDA. The Obama FDA has also looked at new types of advertising. In 2009 it cited 14 companies for using Google search ads to promote their products. Bayer (BAY)'s erectile dysfunction drug Levitra and Pfizer (PFE)'s anti-smoking pill Chantix were caught in that push.
More recently, the FDA cited Novartis (NVS) for two unbranded Web sites that it claimed were misleadingly promoting the company's cancer drug, Gleevec. Neither site actually mentioned the drug, but the FDA said the material on them hinted heavily that Gleevec was recommended and thus the site were drug ads and not the more lightly regulated category of health information "help-seeking" ads.
- FDA Takes a Stand Against Ear Candling -- 6 Years Too Late
- FDA Seeks Advice From Blogger; Google Solves Pharma's Ad Problems
- FDA's Web 2.0 Hearing Recalls Its Unintentionally Hilarious Panel From 1996: "What Is the Internet?"
- How the FDA's Crackdown on Unapproved Drugs Could Create New Monopolies
- FDA Launches Jihad Against Burning Objects In Babies' Ears, But May Have Overstepped
- Drugs on Twitter: Big Pharma Lobbies for New Rules in Social Media