Medical Advice from Lawyers: A Content Analysis of Advertising for Drug Injury Lawsuits

56 Pages Posted: 22 Jul 2014 Last revised: 11 Mar 2015

Date Written: June 4, 2014


This study examined the medical information contained in a sample of television ads soliciting consumers for lawsuits against drug and medical device manufactures. Almost all such ads involved drugs or devices that have not been recalled and remain on the market. These ads raise important public health questions because they may influence the prospective medical decisions of viewers.

The ads contain extensive descriptions of serious adverse events associated with the drugs or devices but almost uniformly failed to disclose information relating to the likelihood of such events. They also fail to effectively advise viewers to consult a doctor.

Results also identified a subset of ads that mimicked public service announcements, claiming to be a “medical alert” “consumer alert” or “FDA warning” at the start of the ad. Most such ads did not disclose the attorney source of the advertising until the final few seconds of the ad.

Keywords: empirical, medical, attorney advertising, mass torts, pharmaceutical, attorney ethics, legal profession, medical devices, drugs, adverse events, FDA, FTC, Reglan, Fentanyl, Yaz

JEL Classification: D81

Suggested Citation

Tippett, Elizabeth Chika, Medical Advice from Lawyers: A Content Analysis of Advertising for Drug Injury Lawsuits (June 4, 2014). American Journal of Law and Medicine, Vol. 41, No. 1, 2015, Available at SSRN:

Elizabeth Chika Tippett (Contact Author)

University of Oregon School of Law ( email )

1515 Agate Street
Eugene, OR Oregon 97403
United States
541-346-8938 (Phone)

Do you have negative results from your research you’d like to share?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics