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Direct-to-consumer advertising and expenditures on prescription drugs: a comparison of experiences in the United States and Canada.

Morgan SG - Open Med (2007)

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Over the past quarter-century, prescription drug manufacturers in the United States have increasingly invested in direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA) designed to build brand recognition and to foster patients' belief in the quality of their products... Policy-makers in Canada, where limited DTCA is permitted, and in countries that do not permit DTCA are under increasing pressure to allow such marketing activities... It is important to note, however, that DTCA is not a substitute for promotions that target health professionals... For a DTCA campaign to be successful, the advertiser must also invest in complementary marketing activities targeted at professionals., , Professional detailing ensures that prescribers are prepared for DTCA-induced patient visits (so that the prescriber–manufacturer relationship is not strained by such visits), and increased distribution of samples ensures that prescribers have the advertised product at hand (so that competing firms do not benefit excessively from DTCA-induced demand)... The difference in per capita expenditures on prescription drugs in the United States and Canada began to increase at almost exactly the same time that DTCA began to flourish in the United States (Figure 2)... From 1975 to 1994, the difference in inflation-adjusted expenditures on prescription drugs between the United States and Canada was never more than $36 per capita (measured in year 2005 Canadian dollars)... If, over the last decade, Canada had followed a path of DTCA similar to that taken by the United States and if per capita expenditures on prescription drugs had risen as much in Canada as they have in the United States, Canadian expenditures on prescription drugs would be approximately $10 billion higher per year than they currently are... This amount would be sufficient to pay annual salaries of $250,000 to 40,000 physicians... The DTCA-associated increased spending on prescription drugs may be of value if it is on treatments that are appropriate and cost-effective... However, after reviewing studies published to 2004, Gilbody and colleagues concluded that, while DTCA is associated with increased requests for and use of advertised products, no health benefits have been established... Not surprisingly, patients who request a specific brand are more likely to receive that specific brand rather than available alternatives... It is certainly desirable to make better use of prescription drugs in Canada, although doing so may result in increased pharmaceutical expenditures... However, to promote safe, effective and efficient medicine use, policy-makers would be well advised to maintain and enhance restrictions on product-claim (brand-specific) DTCA, because such advertisements are designed to instill product preferences in people who often do not have the information, training or incentive to compare the risks, benefits and costs of the available treatment options.

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Shares of US pharmaceutical expenditures by source of funds
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Direct-to-consumer advertising and expenditures on prescription drugs: a comparison of experiences in the United States and Canada.

Morgan SG - Open Med (2007)

Shares of US pharmaceutical expenditures by source of funds
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2801909&req=5

app4_fig: Shares of US pharmaceutical expenditures by source of funds

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

AUTOMATICALLY GENERATED EXCERPT
Please rate it.

Over the past quarter-century, prescription drug manufacturers in the United States have increasingly invested in direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA) designed to build brand recognition and to foster patients' belief in the quality of their products... Policy-makers in Canada, where limited DTCA is permitted, and in countries that do not permit DTCA are under increasing pressure to allow such marketing activities... It is important to note, however, that DTCA is not a substitute for promotions that target health professionals... For a DTCA campaign to be successful, the advertiser must also invest in complementary marketing activities targeted at professionals., , Professional detailing ensures that prescribers are prepared for DTCA-induced patient visits (so that the prescriber–manufacturer relationship is not strained by such visits), and increased distribution of samples ensures that prescribers have the advertised product at hand (so that competing firms do not benefit excessively from DTCA-induced demand)... The difference in per capita expenditures on prescription drugs in the United States and Canada began to increase at almost exactly the same time that DTCA began to flourish in the United States (Figure 2)... From 1975 to 1994, the difference in inflation-adjusted expenditures on prescription drugs between the United States and Canada was never more than $36 per capita (measured in year 2005 Canadian dollars)... If, over the last decade, Canada had followed a path of DTCA similar to that taken by the United States and if per capita expenditures on prescription drugs had risen as much in Canada as they have in the United States, Canadian expenditures on prescription drugs would be approximately $10 billion higher per year than they currently are... This amount would be sufficient to pay annual salaries of $250,000 to 40,000 physicians... The DTCA-associated increased spending on prescription drugs may be of value if it is on treatments that are appropriate and cost-effective... However, after reviewing studies published to 2004, Gilbody and colleagues concluded that, while DTCA is associated with increased requests for and use of advertised products, no health benefits have been established... Not surprisingly, patients who request a specific brand are more likely to receive that specific brand rather than available alternatives... It is certainly desirable to make better use of prescription drugs in Canada, although doing so may result in increased pharmaceutical expenditures... However, to promote safe, effective and efficient medicine use, policy-makers would be well advised to maintain and enhance restrictions on product-claim (brand-specific) DTCA, because such advertisements are designed to instill product preferences in people who often do not have the information, training or incentive to compare the risks, benefits and costs of the available treatment options.

No MeSH data available.