The increasing use of direct-to-consumer advertising of medical devices is making some physicians and legislators uneasy.
They question whether the public can truly comprehend, based on 60-second television commercials, ad pages in newspapers and popular magazines, or Internet pages, the benefits and risks of such device-based medical interventions as a total hip replacement or the use of stents in a percutaneous coronary intervention. They also are raising questions about how the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will handle its regulatory role over device advertising.
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Some physicians and legislators worry that direct-to- consumer advertising of medical devices could confuse the public, creating unrealistic expectations among patients about these products.
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