An advertisement for the anti Alzheimer's drug Aricept has been criticised for being misleading. The advertisement, which appeared in professional journals, suggested that the drug could help the condition.
London GP Dr Trisha Greenhalgh had complained that the advertisement made "a powerful claim for efficacy in a condition currently believed to be incurable and relentlessly progressive."
The Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority ruled that the advertisement did not give a balanced view of the scientific data. "There were insufficient data to support the impression given by the advertisement that memory in particular improved following treatment with Aricept," they ruled (BMJ 1998; 317: 766).