Ad Alert

Amicus Legal Group

FTC flags TV ads for prescription drug lawsuits.

Last month, the FTC sent letters to seven law firms voicing concerns that some of their TV ads soliciting clients for personal injury lawsuits may overstate the risks associated with taking certain medications, including prescription drugs, which may prompt consumers to stop taking their medications even if the harms of doing so outweigh the benefits. obtained the letters through a Freedom of Information Act request. One of the firms was Amicus Legal Group.

Here’s what the Amicus Legal Group TV ad cited in the letter said:

Attention. If you or a loved one is one of the millions of Americans prescribed the blood thinner medications Xarelto or Pradaxa, listen closely. You could be at serious risk. Xarelto and Pradaxa may be linked to significant internal bleeding, stroke, and even death. At least one report estimates tens of thousands will suffer major bleeding events requiring hospitalization and more than four thousand may bleed to death after taking Xarelto.

And what the FTC said:

This ad may imply that taking Xarelto and Pradaxa poses substantial risks of internal bleeding, stroke, and death, and that the risks of taking these medications outweigh their benefits. Unless you have competent and reliable scientific evidence to support such claims, you should not make them. …[Additionally,] lawsuit ads that open with sensational warnings or alerts may initially mislead consumers about the ads’ sponsor. Your ad begins with a prominent “DRUG WARNING,” a call to “Attention,” and a warning that consumers who take Xarelto or Pradaxa “could be at serious risk.” Reasonable consumers might interpret an ad with these elements as a government-sanctioned medical alert or another type of public service announcement.

The other firms that received a letter from the FTC were Ketterer Browne & Anderson, Pulaski Law Firm, Matthews and Associates, Sokolove Law, Knightline Legal and Gold Shield Group.

Find more of our coverage on pharmaceuticals here.

Our Ad Alerts are not just about false and deceptive marketing issues, but may also be about ads that, although not necessarily deceptive, should be viewed with caution. Ad Alerts can also be about single issues and may not include a comprehensive list of all marketing issues relating to the brand discussed.

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