The Importance Of Direct To Consumer Advertising

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Defined by the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA), “Direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA) is the promotion directly to potential patients of prescription drugs through newspaper, magazine, television, and internet marketing” (1). This type of direct communication allows drug manufacturers to take advantage of its consumer’s lack of medical background and knowledge by promoting products directly to consumers in ways that could manipulate them. During drug manufacturer advertisements, consumers may be given false ideas of potential results and effectiveness of advertised medications. Pharmaceutical companies should not be allowed to advertise directly to its consumers because direct-to-consumer drug advertisements may misinform patients …show more content…
Even though the United States is only home to 5% of the world’s entire population, it also “accounts for 42% of global prescription drug spending.” These statistics indicate that nearly half of the entire world’s prescription drug users are currently being influenced by prescription drug advertisements. According to Donald L. Sullivan, direct-to-consumer advertising began as the result of an accident. Syntex Inc., introduced a new anti-inflammatory medication that gained popularity and quickly became the main topic of conversation among the public. As a result of these discussions, the prescribing of this new medication increased dramatically (32). The first known direct-to-consumer advertisement was in the 1980’s by the company Pfizer Inc., who began a campaign known as “Partners in Healthcare,” the goal of this campaign was “to increase consumer awareness of undiagnosed diseases such as diabetes, angina, arthritis, and hypertension” (32). Direct-to-consumer advertising has not always been legal, says Bryan A. Liang and Tim K. Mackey in “It’s Time to Shine the Light on Direct-to-Consumer Advertising”, direct-to-consumer advertising “experienced rapid growth in the United States when the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first liberalized its use in the 1980s and 1990s. An estimated 330% rise in DTCA spending from 1996 to 2005 coincided with a wave of new FDA drug approvals, including approvals of “blockbuster” drugs such as Lipitor, Nexium, and Vioxx”

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