Direct-to-consumer advertising in the pharmaceutical industry


Direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical advertising (DTCPA) has gained in popularity over the last few decades, and it is currently the most common kind of public health communication.

Definition

Direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA) focuses on marketing pharmaceutical prescription to patients rather than health care providers. DTCA can be found in magazines, newspapers, social media, television, and radio. DTCA can be used for a variety of reasons, such as persuading customers that a company's pharmaceutical products are the best, informing them about new uses for existing drugs, or announcing new products.

Types

DTC medical advertisements currently come in a variety of forms. The first type is "help-seeking ad," which provides simply details about a medical condition and motivates patients to contact their doctor without mentioning any product. The second one is "reminder ad," which contains the product name; this type may include details such as strength, dose form, or price, but does not make any claims. The third and most popular type is the "product claim ad," which includes efficacy or safety claims of the product and its indication.

Some impacts of DTCA

Providing consumers with information

According to the pharmaceutical business, the benefits of DTCA comprise giving health information regarding illnesses and cures and motivating customers by offering knowledge and encouraging them to make decision. However, it is believed that the pharmaceutical industry's information given to customers is likely to exaggerate benefits over potential dangers.

Prescription issues and potential danger

Consumers exposed to DTCA were more prone to assume they took medicine, to request products promoted on tv, and to get prescriptions for these products. There have also been cases where considerable harm has resulted from under-reporting of safety issues. DTCA also increases the harm for consumers due to the fact that healthcare practitioners are more likely to prescribe off-label uses of pharmaceutical drugs.

By VSHR Digital Media

Source: 1. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, 2. ranzcp.org

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