FDA still doesn’t get it

KEY TAKEAWAY: To suggest that ANY DTC ads are too distracting for fair balance information clearly shows just how out of touch the FDA is with the methods patients make healthcare decisions.

Will the FDA ever accept the fact that DTC ads, on TV, are not as effective as they once were and that patients are not going to run to their doctor to “ask for an Rx” after viewing a TV spot?

Not too long ago research showed that DTC TV ads were only 7% effective. That’s 93% ineffective!  Yet the FDA really believes that drug companies have this hidden power of persuasion and consumers make treatment decisions based on a commercial.  How sad.

Those of us who live and breath DTC marketing understand that TV ads are great for awareness, but seldom do they work alone in driving new Rx’s.  If consumers want more information they are going to go online or read about it via a brochure at their doctor’s office.

I have repeatedly said that the best study the FDA could do is a mass DTC study to determine the effect of drug company DTC ads.  They should also subscribe to Manhattan Research’s updates to gain a better understanding of how patients are getting health information.

The FDA could better protect health information seekers by helping patients get good, easy to read, credible information not with saying ads are too distracting.

2 thoughts on “FDA still doesn’t get it

  1. mel sokotch

    Regarding DTC TV being “only 7% effective,” what exactly does this mean? That only 7 of 100 target patients who see the spot get a script?

  2. Richard Meyer Post author

    According to a 2016 STAT-Harvard poll, only 7% of consumer respondents were motivated to talk to their physician about a prescription drug they saw on TV, down from 21% in 2015. The poll also indicated that 57% of U.S. adults support ending Rx drug TV advertising. So then why would DTC managers continue to invest in TV?

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