Consumer Watchdog Group is On to Invokana’s Off-Label Marketing

In just 2.5 short years, newcomer Type-2 diabetes drug Invokana has rocketed to the top of the sales market, largely driven by advertisements directed at consumers. These advertisements, however, have raised concerns over how they affect the public’s perception of the safety and efficacy of the drug—often downplaying serious, life-threatening side effects.  Public Citizen, a Washington, D.C. based consumer advocacy group, wrote a letter to the FDA asking it to “stop the apparently violative off-label promotional statements in the direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertisements” of several drugs prescribed for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes, including Invokana.  The letter cited that certain print and web ads suggested these drugs could be used for several unapproved benefits, such as for weight-loss and lowering blood pressure, while ignoring some of the severe side-effects that drugs like Invokana can cause, including a higher risk of yeast infections.

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