The GAO will conduct a summer 2022 study looking into federal regulation of direct-to-consumer marketing practices.

The Government Accountability Office has agreed to conduct a summer 2022 study of federal regulation of direct-to-consumer advertising practices for prescription medical products.

In December 2021, a bipartisan group of 21 members of Congress requested the GAO study direct-to-consumer oversight by the Federal Trade Commission and Federal Drug Administration.

The request resulted from a successful lobbying effort by the American Association of Orthodontists’ legal and advocacy team, in coordination with AAO’s lobbying firm, Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies.

The bipartisan group of legislators signed a letter sent to Comptroller General Gene Dodaro requesting the GAO study.

The letter specifically pointed to mail-order orthodontic treatment and mail-order contact lenses as 2 examples of issues within the industry that garnered repeated complaints and calls for each company to be investigated by the FTC and FDA.

As a result, the GAO will be investigating what the FDA and FTC are doing to regulate DTC products, including DTC orthodontic aligners.

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