This 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…
According to the Coalition for Healthcare Communication “A recent study released by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) states that although consumer-directed drug promotion increases utilization and thus overall drug costs, it also helps to educate consumers, induce physician contact and promote adherence.” In other words those who believe DTC ads drive patients for drugs they don’t need may not be 100% correct about the value and impact of DTC ads.
An estimated 50% of men have histologic evidence of BPH by age 50. However one of the biggest complaints of aging males is both the loss of energy and lower sex drive. Is testosterone therapy the answer and are the current DTC spots that are running for testosterone therapy making promises that aren’t proven by clinical evidence ?
According to an article in the August issue of PM 360 on Integrated Marketing the percentage of consumers who said a drug ad drove them to ask about a medical condition declined from 27% in 1999 to 17% in 2012. Frankly, I’m surprised it’s still that high but I do expect that number to continue to decline as consumers use the Internet to research health conditions and medications and more big name drugs come off patent.