Direct_to_Consumer_Drug_Marketing.pdf;JSESSIONIDVISTA=PD2xTdBVL5nvQw3TTyv2T2NNyGnWJ2r3jP1GL6Xh4T2gSZ

Direct_to_Consumer_Drug_Marketing.pdf;JSESSIONIDVISTA=PD2xTdBVL5nvQw3TTyv2T2NNyGnWJ2r3jP1GL6Xh4T2gSZ

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Direct-to-Consumer Drug Marketing: Public Service or Disservice? J EFFREY T. B ERGER , M.D. 1 , P IETER K ARK , M.D. 2 , F RED R OSNER , M.D. 3 , S AMUEL P ACKER , M.D. 4 , AND A LLEN J. B ENNETT , M.D. 5 Abstract Pharmaceutical industry spending on direct-to-consumer advertising has been increasing rapidly. While the primary goal of direct-to-consumer advertising is to sell drugs, supposed secondary goals include patient education and improved health. However, these benefits of direct-to-consumer advertising are unproved. Moreover, such advertising may create unnecessary tension between the patient and the patient’s physician and insurer, and may divert physicians’ efforts away from important patient concerns, and toward marketing-generated discussions. On the other hand, direct-to-consumer advertising may lead to patient-doctor encounters that would not have occurred otherwise. Direct-to-consumer advertis- ing should be modified to unambiguously benefit the health-care interests of consumers and patients. Key Words: Prescription drugs, pharmaceutical industry, marketing, advertising. Introduction D IRECT - TO - CONSUMER (DTC) marketing is a growing area of pharmaceutical industry activ- ity. Currently, such activity is of unclear net benefit to patients. Arguments supporting DTC advertising include its informational content and patient empowerment through education. However, the primary goal of DTC advertising is to sell medication. The primary motivation is financial profit. Is DTC advertising benign, helpful, or harmful to patients? To date, the ef- fects of DTC advertising have not been studied rigorously, although some data exist. In this essay, we discuss implications of DTC advertis- ing and suggest alternative approaches which are more apt to support patients’ interests. Background The pharmaceutical industry is one of the most profitable industries on the Fortune 500 list. In this high stakes arena, a single success- ful drug can generate billions of dollars in rev- enue. Research and development for failed drugs can cost billions of dollars as well. Pres- sures to generate revenue have led the pharma- ceutical industry to direct advertising to pa- tients in addition to health-care professionals. For some drugs, such as Claritin ® and Zyban ® , 90% of promotional spending is directed to- ward consumers (1). While spending on adver- tising in medical journals is decreasing, DTC advertising spending for prescription drugs is increasing rapidly. In 1996, $600 million was spent (2). By 1999, annual spending exceeded $1.5 billion (1). Drug manufacturers may find that generating consumer demand is an effec- tive supplemental strategy to alter managed care formularies, because physicians’ influence and prescribing autonomy are constrained within these plans. Some managed care organi- zations are responding to these pharmaceutical industry initiatives by providing physicians with guidance in dealing with patient requests for non-covered proprietary drugs.
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Page1 / 6

Direct_to_Consumer_Drug_Marketing.pdf;JSESSIONIDVISTA=PD2xTdBVL5nvQw3TTyv2T2NNyGnWJ2r3jP1GL6Xh4T2gSZ

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online