FDA OPDP Issues Fifth Letter of Caution for the Year, Cites Oak Pharmaceuticals For Exhibit Banner


Almost like clockwork, the Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Prescription Drug Promotion (OPDP) has released its fifth putting in force letter of 2015—they have issued undivided letter in January, February, March, April, and a little while ago, as of the past week, undivided in May. OPDP sent the Untitled Letter to Oak Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (a subservient of Akorn, Inc.) regarding the company’s barbiturate anticonvulsant, Nembutal. View the promotional essential here. The agency found that Oak’s diet exhibit banner was misleading because it omitted “grave risk information associated with the application of Nembutal,” and also omitted material facts. These violations caused the evince banner to be “misbranded” under the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, famed OPDP.

Indeed, the banner is completely sparse, showing a picture of an approaching lightning storm, and stating: “Control the Uncontrollable. The govern you need when seizures are at their get the better of,” followed by the product and house name. In small letters at the sailing craft, the banner notes: “See booth delegated for full prescribing information and of great weight safety information.” OPDP stated that this alert did not moderate the fact that the banner leaves off risk information on the visual material itself.

In sending the Untitled Letter, OPDP reaffirms that totality promotional material–including posters at evince booths—are subject to the claim to be accurate and to equipoise all benefit information with risk information.


The OPDP is the drug advertisement watchdog; the agency keeps a seem out for false and misleading advertising and advancement through comprehensive surveillance. They inspect Form FDA-2253,  receive complaints from competitors, monitor promotional corporeal at medical conferences, and have instituted the “Bad Ad” Program, which encourages doctors to alert the OPDP of potentially double-tongued or misleading advertisements. The Agency may for this reason issue “Warning Letters” or not so much serious “Untitled Letters” to the manufacturers in the rear any problematic ads. Whereas Untitled Letters prescribe companies to cease using the violative materials and revoke them, Warning Letters may also direct the company to make a mark out for “corrective advertising,” what one. includes prompt dissemination of accurate and consummate information.

Oak Untitled Letter

Oak Pharmaceuticals is a auxiliary of Akorn, Inc., and markets the Nembutal Sodium Solutions, a brittle-acting injectable barbiturate used to curb seizures and for sedation. According to the OPDP, the assembly displayed an exhibit banner for Nembutal at the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) Meeting held in Anaheim, CA in December continue year, which was viewed by two OPDP representatives. Oak received an Untitled Letter a few months later based on the banner’s oversight of risks and omission of vital facts. 

Omission of Risk Information

The Nembutal set forth banner includes claims such as, “Control the Uncontrollable” and “the command you need when seizures are their overthrow;” however, it omits all of the contraindications, warnings and precautions, and stale adverse reactions associated with the appliance of Nembutal, states OPDP. “By becoming bankrupt to present any risk information associated through Nembutal, the exhibit banner misleadingly suggests that Nembutal is safer than has been demonstrated.”

FDA acknowledges that the description: “SEE BOOTH REPRESENTATIVE FOR FULL PRESCRIBING INFORMATION AND IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION,” is included at the vessel of the exhibit banner, but that it does not lessen the misleading omission of risk complaint. Risks associated with barbiturates include, perchance most notably, that they are usage forming. The product labeling for Nembutal furthermore contains warnings and precautions regarding IV the government, acute or chronic pain, use in pregnancy, synergistic goods, and central nervous system (CNS) depressant goods

Omission of Material Facts

In adding to risks, OPDP found that the streamer did not accurately portray the approved symptom for the drug.  Specifically, the agency found the  materials omitted the performance that Nembutal should only be used “in anesthetic doses, in the turn of events control of certain acute, convulsive episodes, e.g., those associated through status epilepticus, cholera, eclampsia, meningitis, spasm, and toxic reactions to strychnine or local anesthetics.”

OPDP’s letter indicates that they entreat Oak to “immediately cease branding Nembutal,” and to submit a written response to the agency’s letter stating whether the meeting of friends intends to comply with the desire, listing all promotional materials (with the 2253 obedience date) for Nembutal that contain presentations so as those described above, and explaining their mark out for discontinuing use of such materials.

Before sending this verbal expression to Oak, OPDP most recently sent each Untitled Letter to Otsuka Pharmaceuticals in April, citing a pharmacology aid during the term of their antidepressant and bipolar treatment, Abilify. This is a remarkable letter if solely because it implicates a wide pharmaceutical company, and a bestselling physic that only recently received generic rivalry. OPDP criticized the ad, which showed three loose switches at low, middle, and aloft to represent how Abilify can attune dopamine and serotonin activity. However, “the whole of these claims and presentations misleadingly implies a greater extent of certainty about the mechanism of playing of Abilify in humans than is commonly known,” notes the letter. Furthermore, according to OPDP, the promo is “misleading for the cause that it implies that Abilify offers advantages very other currently approved treatments for bipolar derange or [major depressive disorder] when this has not been demonstrated.”

See OPDP’s wish of enforcement letters here. 

Medsphere’s OpenVista® electronic freedom from disease record (EHR) specifically for behavioral freedom from disease hospitals.

Search keywords

Both comments and pings are currently closed.