Q&A on the FDA Request for Comment on First Amendment and Commercial Speech Issues

What is the FDA's Request for Comment?

When are comments due?

How do I submit comments?

What should I say in my comments?

How should I present my comments?

What is the existing law with regard to commercial speech?

Why shouldn't commercial speech have strong constitutional protections?

Relevant FDA Notices and Related Material

Relevant FDA Notices and Related Material

Suggestions for Submitting Comments

On corporate constitutional rights and commercial speech

On Direct-to-Consumer pharmaceutical advertising

On Tobacco advertising

Background Infromation

Corporate Constitutional Rights and Commercial Speech

Direct-to-Consumer Pharmaceutical Advertising

The FDA and Commercial Speech Protection

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is seeking comments on First Amendment issues related to protections for commercial speech, and the agency's authority to regulate advertising and marketing.

How the public responds to this request for comment will have an important influence on the FDA's approach to these issues. That in turn will affect both critical public health policies, and U.S. law on corporations' First Amendment speech rights.

Essential Action believes there should be no constitutional rights afforded to corporations, and certainly not protections for the right to advertise.

We work on a variety of public health issues, and we know that restricting advertisements in specific areas is often a vital public health measure. We also believe there are major public health benefits from imposing broad restrictions on advertising to children.

Essential Action encourages members of the public to submit comments to the FDA in response to the agency's request. The deadline for submitting comments is September 13, 2002. Responses to submitted comments will be accepted until October 28, 2002

We have prepared a question-and-answer sheet on the FDA request for comment, which provides information on the context of the FDA's request, offers sample comment language, and tells you how to submit comments.

We also have compiled links to information on: commercial speech rights, Direct-to-Consumer advertising of pharmaceuticals, and advertising and tobacco.

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