Research suggests that off-label prescribing of pharmaceutical drugs can result in exaggerated and untested claims by the drug manufacturer (Conko 2010, 2). Although the use of drugs for purposes other than their originally intended use can provide many medical benefits, it can develop into an accepted mode of expanding the use of pharmaceuticals beyond the appropriate scope of their health benefits; moreover, this practice may result in unwanted and unforeseen health effects. The FDA has a formal ban on off-label product promotion, but this is often sidestepped as anecdotal reports of health benefits associated with off-label drug use are promoted in labeling and promotional advertising. These practices have created considerable confusion among health consumers who are the misleading product labels and inadequate instructions on the proper use of medications, their potential side effects and health risks Some legal commentators have cited the extravagant internet advertising of pharmaceuticals as an important expansion of promotional strategies that often neglect to clearly state the label properties and risks associated with the use of a specific drugSection 502 of the Food and Drug Act deals specifically with issues of misbranding and false or misleading label practices by pharmaceutical companies. According to its provisions, a pharmaceutical drug label is considered at issue if any part of the label is misrepresented or misleading. This pertains to ingredients, quantity, source and packaging details.
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