Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News
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Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News
Pharmaguy curates and provides insights into selected drug industry news and issues.
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Pay Attention! FDA to Study If Oldsters Understand TV Drug Ads

Pay Attention! FDA to Study If Oldsters Understand TV Drug Ads | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News |

The Food and Drug Administration wants to figure out just how well older Americans are able to comprehend the prescription drug ads they see on TV.

In an upcoming study, described in a notice posted publicly late last week, the agency will test whether Americans 60 and older understand some of the more complex information presented in the commercials they see between network news and NFL football games. They want to test whether people understand more complex ads as well as they did simpler ads — or if it is too much information for people to process.

Americans 60 and older will participate in the studies, the agency said, because they are more likely to be interested in the drug being studied and therefore more motivated to pay attention. The FDA noted that older people use more prescription drugs and watch more television than younger people.

Participants will be shown TV ads twice for a fictional medication for cataracts. They will then take a survey gauging how well they understood the information in the ad, how well they retained the information, and how they ultimately perceived the drug’s risks and benefits.

The ads will vary. Some will describe side effects more simply, for example, occurring in “10 percent or less” of patients; others will be much more specific — say, 6 percent to 10 percent. Some ads will give only a single outcome for taking the drug (52 percent improved their vision); others will offer an additional outcome (52 percent improved their vision and people were able to see on average 85 out of 100 letters in an eye chart test).

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Study: US Alzheimer's Rate Seems to Be Dropping. High School Education Helps!

Study: US Alzheimer's Rate Seems to Be Dropping. High School Education Helps! | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News |

The rate of Alzheimer's disease and other dementias is falling in the United States and some other rich countries — good news about an epidemic that is still growing simply because more people are living to an old age, new studies show.

The federally funded Framingham study tracked new dementia cases among several thousand people 60 and older in five-year periods starting in 1978, 1989, 1996 and 2006. Compared with the first period, new cases were 22 percent lower in the second one, 38 percent lower in the third and 44 percent lower in the fourth one.

The average age at which dementia was diagnosed also rose — from 80 during the first period to 85 in the last one.

During that time, there were declines in smoking, heart disease and strokes, factors linked to dementia, and a rise in the number of people using blood pressure medicines and getting a high school diploma, which reduce the likelihood of developing the condition.

"The results bring some hope that perhaps dementia cases might be preventable, or at least delayed" by improving health and education, said the study leader, Claudia Satizabal of Boston University.

Pharma Guy's insight:

If getting a high school diploma reduces the likelihood of developing Alzheimer's, then a college diploma may prevent the condition! If so, it might save Medicare a lot of money if the government paid for universal college education!

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