Under Obama Administration, FDA Broadens Consumer Protections

Readers of beauty magazines are familiar with the articles and advertisements that feature physicians touting the magical results that come from using various products to correct conditions ranging from cellulite to droopy underarm skin, from yellow teeth to wrinkles. In response to escalating complaints from consumers, the FDA has launched a new effort to rein in the more extravagant claims—especially when the claims involve doctor-pitchmen or pitch-women, and the products are drugs.

The New York Times today reports that in a shot across the beauty and the doctor medical bow, FDA has issued a warning to a well known dermatologist and clinical researcher in Miami Beach alleging that she improperly advocated the use of an as yet unapproved drug she promoted for the treatment of wrinkles. Dr. Leslie Baumann was issued a warning letter advising the doctor that she engaged in promotion of an unapproved drug, which is a violation of FDA policy. Unfortunately, Dr. Baumann is rather the rule than the exception in an industry where media exposure is critical for both the sales of such products and to expand the clientele of the doctors that use them.