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Healthy Skepticism Library item: 16843

Warning: This library includes all items relevant to health product marketing that we are aware of regardless of quality. Often we do not agree with all or part of the contents.


Publication type: Report

Promotional Spending for Prescription Drugs
Congressional Budget Office 2009 Dec 2


Pharmaceutical companies’ efforts to promote prescription
drugs have attracted the attention of policymakers
because such activities may affect the rate at which different
drugs are prescribed and consumed, the total amount
spent on health care, and, ultimately, health outcomes.
Those promotional activities-usually undertaken on
behalf of brand-name, rather than generic, drugs-may
influence consumers and health care professionals through
a variety of channels. For example, advertisements for prescription
drugs that are aimed at consumers may prompt
individuals to seek medical treatment they might otherwise
have delayed. Such advertisements may also influence
individuals to request a specific drug that is higher or
lower in price or that is more or less effective than one
they had previously used. Promotional efforts aimed at
physicians may help them keep abreast of the latest drug
therapies and improve their ability to treat patients. Those
efforts may also lead doctors to prescribe brand-name
medications that are more expensive than alternatives.


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You are going to have many difficulties. The smokers will not like your message. The tobacco interests will be vigorously opposed. The media and the government will be loath to support these findings. But you have one factor in your favour. What you have going for you is that you are right.
- Evarts Graham
When truth is unwelcome: the first reports on smoking and lung cancer.