Wednesday, November 11

Crossing the "Drug" Line

There has been much speculation about the FDA's new stance under the Obama administration, especially with the FDA meetings this week around online marketing and social media. Will it become even tougher, will pharmaceuticals be able to advertise, etc?

No one knows quite yet what will happen. One thing is clear, though. The FDA has an opinion, it is going to voice it, and it is going to voice it consistently. Regardless of the category.

Kellogg's certainly found that out last week. The FDA is cracking down hard on "drug" claims made by non-drug products, like cereal. With the rise in the number of functional foods (foods that have a health benefit), the FDA has evidently decided that it must step in and regulate the category much like it does the pharma industry.

So if you are going to make a claim about fighting cholesterol or boosting immunity, then according to the FDA you had better follow the rules, and prove it.

Everyone is quick to jump all over the FDA, but quite honestly I'm not sure that it's all that bad. Regulation is one thing, and every situation can be debated and should be debated. But to me consistent regulation should be a given. If there are rules in place, they should apply to everyone, not just to certain categories or industries.

Just my thought.

What's your experience? Jim.

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