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Healthy Skepticism Library item: 6900

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

Barents Group LLC
Factors affecting the growth of prescription drug expenditures
Washington, D.C: National Institute for Health Care Management Research and Educational Foundation 1999 Jul 9


Abstract:

The top ten drugs most heavily advertised directly to consumers in 1998 accounted for $9.3 billion or about 22% of the total increase in drug spending between 1993 and 1998. In 1998, pharmaceutical manufacturers spent $8.3 billion promoting their products in the United States. About $1.3 billion was spent on direct-to-consumer advertising and $7.0 billion on advertising and detailing to health care professionals. Policy changes by the Food and Drug Administration, particularly a 1997 relaxation of guidelines for broadcast advertising, have allowed drug manufacturers to engage in much more extensive direct-to-consumer advertising. There is considerable evidence that DTCA works. Doctors’ visits for heavily advertised conditions rose 11% between January and September 1998, compared to a 2% increase in total office visits. Patients are becoming more likely to ask for prescription drugs by brand name. A 1998 survey found that 53% of physicians reported an increase in brand name requests, up 30% from mid-1997 (before the relaxation of FDA guidelines for television advertising.) The increase in brand awareness was especially felt by allergists, 97% of whom said that DTCA had influenced their patients. Doctors are very likely to honour patients’ requests for a specific prescription drug. A 1997 study found that 73% of consumers said their doctors accomodated their request for a specific drug. Research by Scott-Levin found that patient requests for Claritin in the year ending September 1997 were honoured 86% of the time.

Keywords:
*analysis/United States/direct-to-consumer advertising/DTCA/FDA/Food and Drug Administration/broadcast advertisements/ consumer behaviour & knowledge/ promotion costs and volume/ prescribing costs/EVALUATION OF PROMOTION: DIRECT-TO-CONSUMER ADVERTISING/INFLUENCE OF PROMOTION: CONSUMER DRUG COSTS/INFLUENCE OF PROMOTION: CONSUMERS AND PATIENTS/INFLUENCE OF PROMOTION: PRESCRIBING, DRUG USE/REGULATION, CODES, GUIDELINES: DIRECT GOVERNMENT REGULATION/VOLUME OF AND EXPENDITURE ON PROMOTION

 

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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
See:
When truth is unwelcome: the first reports on smoking and lung cancer.