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NEWS Antidote BY DR. SIEGEL Device companies learn i thought i would take a short step away from the usual drug how to utilize DTC ads analysis to discuss mammo- Medical device com- more traditional media outlets grams. Given the recent US pany representatives attending still constitute the majority of their industry’s leading trade activities, advaMed said, the sur- Preventive Services Task Force association annual conference vey results revealed social media recommendations discouraging in October received results of is still a fairly new phenomenon the routine use of mammograms a “snapshot” Porter Novelli in comparison to existing dTc survey about medical device marketing campaigns. in ages 40 to 50, it is important to re-examine this test. dTc marketing initiatives and “dTc marketing and advertis- On the surface, mammograms would appear to be heard from panel members on ing can be particularly helpful in unassailable, diagnosing 80-90% of breast cancers the importance of using dTc raising awareness of new lifesav- campaigns to raise awareness of ing and life-enhancing technolo- even while asymptomatic, leading to a 15% reduc- new lifesaving and life-enhanc- gies and underutilized medical tion of deaths from breast cancer between the ages ing technologies. technology,” Boston Scientific of 40 to 60. But the task force is concerned that the The Washington-based trade vice president for cardiovascular association, advaMed, said the regulatory affairs Tony Blank told incidence of breast cancer between 40 and 50 is survey’s goal was to assess how the conference. “industry is com- still so low, and the risk of false positives is so high, medical device companies are mitted to supporting responsible that many women must endure the anxiety of not conducting dTc marketing ini- dTc advertising and advaMed’s knowing as well as the tiatives. Some 90% of respon- guiding principles when devel- More women see physical discomfort of dents said their campaigns focus oping campaigns to ensure both on patient benefit materials, such benefit and risk information are an improvement unnecessary biopsies. as patient education brochures, presented to patients in a clear in their quality of But this analysis with most campaigns relying and understandable manner. life when cancer is ignores the fact that on print advertising. although —James G. Dickinson diagnosed before it though only 1/1,900 escapes the breast women between 40 and 50 have their lives saved by 10 years of screening, many more see a significant improvement in their quality of life when their can- cer is diagnosed before it escapes the breast. Not to mention the art of medicine, where erro- neous results are reduced by utilizing the best of mammographers. These experienced practitioners fre- quently replace biopsies with careful follow-up studies for comparison. Screening mammography is an impor- tant tool for a primary care physician, and it should be EISAI DONATED SOME 80 MULTI-PANEL MURALS painted by applied to women after the age of 40, especially when Eisai
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