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DuPont says halts Sustiva ads FDA called 'misleading'


WASHINGTON, Aug 17 (Reuters) - DuPont Pharmaceuticals Co. said Thursday it had stopped circulating certain advertisements for its anti-HIV drug Sustiva that U.S. regulators charged were misleading.

The Food and Drug Administration took issue with ads geared toward consumers and physicians containing the slogan "So Life Goes On."

The phrase is misleading because it implies that Sustiva improves survival for patients with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, the FDA said in a letter dated July 18.

"However, Sustiva's impact on improving survival in patients with HIV has not been demonstrated by substantial evidence," the FDA wrote.

The letter also said claims regarding dosing instructions and side effects were misleading.

A spokesman for DuPont Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of chemical giant DuPont Co., said the company was no longer distributing the ads, which he said ran mostly in magazines and other publications marketed to people infected with HIV.

"We have corrected those points that the FDA made," spokesman Thomas Barry said.

The FDA routinely monitors drug companies' promotion of their products. The agency this year has sent dozens of notices to companies charging violations of requirements to make advertisements accurate and balanced. The letter to DuPont was posted on the FDA Web site Thursday.

Sustiva is one of DuPont's top-selling drug products. The drug's worldwide sales for the first six months of 2000 were $237 million.


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Information in this article was accurate in August 17, 2000. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.