POST SUMMARY: The FDA’s plan to test fair balance recall with repeated exposure to TV ads is a further indication that the FDA is out of touch with how consumers are making healthcare treatment decisions.
OK, I get it. Back when DTC TV ads were approved fair balance was needed to inform and educate patients about the potential risks of prescription drugs. Today, however, patients rarely make healthcare decisions without first going online to learn about the product. So I have to wonder why in the hell the FDA would be studying the effect of risk information with repeated exposure to TV ads that most people find annoying at best.
Too many DTC marketers believe that the more they run TV spots the higher the volume of new Rx’s. What they don’t take into account are that people are smarter than they are an go online to read safety information as well as possible other treatments. It’s too hard to get an appointment with your doctor and the time spent with her, him, is too short to ask about a certain Rx product.
The FDA needs to better understand HOW patients are making healthcare decisions and what sources of information are the most important. They will find that while TV does drive awareness the Internet drives conversion.
Fair balance in TV ads is a dinosaur and should be eliminated, replaced with the address of the product website because safety pages are always among the top pages viewed. Time for the FDA to stop being scientists and start thinking like marketers so they can better understand the patient journey from awareness to Rx.