Consumers’ Reports on the Health Effects of Direct-To-Consumer Drug Advertising

Authors: Weissman, JS; Blumenthal, D; Silk, AJ; Zapert, K; Newman, M; Leitman, R

Authors conducted a national telephone survey about health care experiences associated with direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA) of prescription drugs. Among the 35 percent of respondents who had a physician visit during which DTCA was discussed, 25 percent received a new diagnosis, of which 43 percent were considered high priority conditions. More than half also reported actions taken by their physician other than prescribing the advertised drug. Despite concerns about DTCA’s negative consequences, authors found no differences in health effects between patients who took advertised drugs and those who took other prescription drugs. The study was funded through a grant provided by the National Pharmaceutical Council and other organizations.

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