FDA Asks Pfizer To Pull Misleading EpiPen Television Ad

Posted on May 31, 2012

The Food and Drug Administration is warning Pfizer that one of their ads has the potential to mislead consumers.

The ad in question is used as marketing material for the company’s EpiPen and EpiPen Jr Auto Injectors.  In the television ad that the FDA accuses of being misleading, a mother and a child are talking about the child’s apparent upcoming visit to a friend’s birthday party.  The mom then asks the kid if he’s excited even though he’s going to encounter a cake made of unknown ingredients and the boy has a peanut allergy.  The mother says that they’re prepared for trouble because they have an EpiPen.

Even though there’s a super of a statement saying that the epinephrine injector can’t eliminate the danger of anaphylaxis, the FDA says the ads are still misleading.  They say that the conversation implies that the EpiPen eliminates the need for parents and children to take precautions around food items that might contain allergens.  Evidence has not been able to demonstrate the product’s ability to do so, nor should the item be marketed as such.  As listed in the product’s usage guidelines, EpiPens are instead supposed to be used in emergency situations in which a person has been exposed to an allergen.

The FDA has thanked Pfizer for initially promising to comply with a request to stop disseminating the material, and they are now requesting a plan of action on how they might disperse truthful corrective material in order to better educate consumers.

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