The purpose of this paper is to investigate the current trend of pharmaceutical direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA) in the USA and its effect to patients, physicians and drug utilization. The DTCA of pharmaceutical firms is defined as an attempt of pharmaceutical companies to advertise product directly to patients.
The methodology used is literature review complemented with a semi-structured interview.
Pharmaceutical DTCA showed a reduction in total spending, whereas the online channel experienced growth. DTCA affected the physician–patient relationship and patient satisfaction. Patients who received medication associated with DTCA showed higher satisfaction. DTCA of second-line drugs resulted in an increase of first-line drug utilization. Benefits of pharmaceutical DTCA include enhancing appropriate drug utilization and increasing awareness. DTCA might cause harm by interfering with physician’s decisions regarding drug choice.
Limitations include limited available information of DTCA spending from pharmaceutical companies and lack of quantitative data on the effect of pharmaceutical DTCA. In addition, DTCA is sometimes affected by research bias.
Improvement in the physician–patient relationship and patient satisfaction, as well as in the quality of care provided may be demonstrated.
Pharmaceutical firms using DTCA marketing advertisement methodologies can increase awareness of underdiagnosed conditions and affect medication costs and the utilization of appropriate drug utilization.
Review highlights current relationships between DTCA, patients, physicians and drug utilization to explore the effects DTCA on consumers.
Preechavuthinant, S., Willis, W. and Coustasse, A. (2018), "Trends and effects of pharmaceutical DTCA", International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing, Vol. 12 No. 1, pp. 61-70. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJPHM-04-2017-0019Download as .RIS
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