Majority of physicians believe DTC ads should be cut back

CMI Compass StudyThis week the FDA announced their plan to conduct a new survey focusing on physicians and other healthcare professionals to understand the effect that direct-to-consumer (DTC) pharmaceutical advertising has on their prescribers’ behaviors; as well as gain their perspective on whether or not DTC drug marketing results in inappropriate requests for prescriptions or an overestimation by patients of their efficacy. As this announcement generated much curiosity with our media teams and our many clients, CMI/Compas decided to field their own ByDoctor Pulse study focusing on physicians perceptions of DTC – surveying both primary care and specialty physicians. Perhaps the responses here can serve as leading indicators for what’s to come…

The Key Findings:

(1) Nearly 53% of doctors believe DTC advertising should be scaled back.

DTC ADS SCALED BACK

(2) Over 89% have received a specific medication request from a patient as a result of an advertisement they saw. 43% changed their prescribing as a result.

(3) 78% feel that Direct-to-Consumer advertising leads to a preference for brand name drugs when a generic is adequate.

(4) 48% of physicians agree (5% strongly; 43% somewhat) that Direct-to-Consumer pharmaceutical advertising informs, educates and empowers patients.

(5) 68% of physicians agree (18% strongly; 50% somewhat) that Direct-to-Consumer pharmaceutical advertising encourages patients to contact a clinician.

(6) 64% of physicians agree (13% strongly; 51% somewhat) that Direct-to-Consumer pharmaceutical advertising promotes patient dialogue with health care provider(s)

(7) Only 20% of physicians agree (5% strongly; 15% somewhat) that Direct-to-Consumer pharmaceutical advertising strengthens a patient’s relationship with a clinician.

(8) 52% of physicians agree (9% strongly; 43% somewhat) that Direct-to-Consumer pharmaceutical advertising removes stigma associated with certain diseases.

(9) 63% of physicians agree (15% strongly; 48% somewhat) that Direct-to-Consumer pharmaceutical advertising misinforms patients.

(10) 74% of physicians agree (28% strongly; 46% somewhat) that Direct-to-Consumer pharmaceutical advertising overemphasizes drug benefits.

(11) 68% of physicians agree (14% strongly; 54% somewhat) that Direct-to-Consumer pharmaceutical advertising promotes new drugs before safety profiles are fully known

(12) 81% of physicians agree (25% strongly; 56% somewhat) Direct- to-Consumer pharmaceutical advertising encourages drug overutilization.

(13) 65% of physicians agree (23% strongly; 42% somewhat) that Direct-to-Consumer pharmaceutical advertising is not rigorously regulated.

(14) 78% of physicians agree that Direct-to-Consumer pharmaceutical advertising ultimately increases cost of healthcare.

If this is a sample of what the FDA is going to find with their survey results than pharma is going to see some new guidelines around DTC ads the likes of which they have never seen before.  Of course the other question that we need is answered is that even when patients request a brand name drug often insurers will mandate the generic equivalent or force a patient to pay a very high co-pay for the branded drug.   There are some good points here and I thank Carly Kuper, VP, Strategic Marketing & Corporate Communications for providing this report.

15 thoughts on “Majority of physicians believe DTC ads should be cut back

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