Prescription drug request and denial

Doohee Lee (Department of Management, Marketing, MIS, Marshall University, Charleston, West Virginia, USA)
Dennis Emmett (Department of Management, Marketing, MIS, Marshall University, Charleston, West Virginia, USA)

International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing

ISSN: 1750-6123

Publication date: 31 August 2012



Prescription drug requests and physician denial are important aspects of medical decision making, but little research has been done to identify factors linked to prescription drug request and physician denial. This paper aims to explore factors in relation to patient prescription drug request and provider denial.


The paper is based on a cross‐sectional study in a nationally representative database of 2,988 individuals. Descriptive and multivariate stepwise conditional logistic regression analyses were conducted.


Results of multivariate regression models reveal, after adjusting for personal factors, that heart disease, allergy, anxiety, minor chronic conditions, medical seeking behaviors and direct‐to‐consumer advertising (DTCA) were found to be related to prescription drug request. The denied were individuals with arthritis, less prevalent chronic conditions, the uninsured, and African Americans. It was also found that 27.4 percent of the sample requested a prescription drug and about 24 percent of those who segmented for prescriptions were physicians.

Research limitations/implications

DTCA is positively associated with prescription drug requests but the analysis did not support any effect of DTCA on the refusal status. Patients' requests and physician decision making to refuse are somewhat complicated and vary with different medical conditions.


The paper, using nationally representative data, investigates the factors associated with prescription drug request and denial.



Lee, D. and Emmett, D. (2012), "Prescription drug request and denial", International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing, Vol. 6 No. 3, pp. 200-214.

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Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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