Pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly has received back-to-back letters regarding deceptive drug advertising. In December 2021, the FDA’s Office of Prescription Drug Promotion (OPDP) informed Eli Lilly that its TV ads made “false or misleading claims and/or representations about the risks associated with Emgality,” a migraine prevention drug. Then just weeks later, the drugmaker was similarly notified about misrepresentations in an Instagram post regarding the diabetes drug Trulicity.
In the second letter, OPDP stated the violations are “especially concerning” because the post elicits “a misleading impression regarding the safety and effectiveness of Trulicity, which is a drug with multiple serious, potentially life-threatening risks including a boxed warning for the risk of thyroid C-cell tumors.”
Drug advertising is big business – in 2020, total spending topped $6.58 billion. But the FDA does not review all drug ads before they are released, so it’s critical for consumers to look beyond the marketing hype.
Research drug information at an impartial site like Drugs.com or MedLine Plus. If you’re still interested, talk to your doctor about the drug, its benefits and potential risks, and if they have any experience with it. It’s possible the doctor may recommend a better alternative, or even suggest that you don’t need it.