2_If Direct-to-Consumer Advertisements Come to Europe - Metzl

2_If Direct-to-Consumer Advertisements Come to Europe - Metzl

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Essay Focus www.thelancet.com Vol 369 February 24, 2007 705 patients. Both parties have thereby occupied new roles and new subject positions, especially when their conversations revolve around prescription drugs. Also overlooked by most US publications are the ways in which DTC advertising has changed physicians’ own understandings of the treatments they prescribe. Of course, countless studies—almost as prevalent as the advertisements themselves—examine the eF ect of the advertisements on prescribing practices, and an equal amount of market analysis assesses changing patient attitudes and behaviour. 6 But fairly little has been written about the ways in which doctors’ own beliefs about and expectations of prescription drugs are shaped by the fact that they too are members of US culture, and are as such subject to the same advertisements as are their patients. To suggest that medical knowledge somehow protects physicians from cultural trends seems irrational; yet whether DTC advertisements aF ect doctors and patients similarly remains a matter of speculation. DTC advertisements have also ampli± ed, and in some cases changed, cultural expectations about illness and health. ²or instance, television in the USA is replete with images of Levitra-invigorated men throwing footballs through tyres, or women who are pro± cient at motherhood duties because of antidepressants.
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2_If Direct-to-Consumer Advertisements Come to Europe - Metzl

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