Google, Yahoo urge federal regulators to expanded drug ads on the web

2009-11-13 05:51:43 (GMT) (Caymanmama.com - Business Technology News)

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Greensboro, North Carolina (CaymanMama.com) — Many of the Web’s biggest names are pushing for expanded online drug ads.

Google, Yahoo and other Web entities joined forces with the pharmaceutical industry in asking federal regulators to simplify the process for online prescription drug advertisements on Thursday.

The Food and Drug Administration has agreed to hear the statements of dozens of pharmaceutical and ad executives during a meeting on online marketing of medical products. In addition the FDA has agreed to consider coming up with new rules for online drug ads after some drug makers complained that the guidelines were more geared for traditional media.

Currently, the FDA rules mandate that all drug ads include a detailed list of benefits and side effects and risks, which drug makers say is hampering their sales.

According to the AP, “Drug makers spent more than $4.3 billion on patient-targeted advertisements last year, though online marketing represented about 3 percent of that amount. The industry’s limited online marketing presence represents a lost opportunity for search engines like Google and Yahoo, given strong demand for online medical information.”

“We need to get some adjustment to the way the medium is used because it’s very different from print and broadcast — that’s the main challenge,” Yahoo Vice President David Zinman said in an interview Thursday morning, noting that new rules would give drug companies increased flexibility on the Internet.



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