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Drug ads should include toll-free number to report side effects

New rules requiring a toll free number in drug advertising so consumers can report side effects should be extended to TV ads.

Consumers Union strongly urges the FDA to require all television advertisements for prescription drugs to include a toll-free number and a website address for the public to report serious side effects to the agency. As you are aware, the Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act, passed by Congress last year, requires this for print advertisements. We believe the FDA would benefit greatly if this requirement were extended to include television advertisements. By reaching wider audiences who could report adverse events, the FDA would get a more comprehensive picture of the possible risks of medications and better monitor drug safety.