6 Year old DTC study is not​ applicable today

  • A CMI/Compass study in 2013 suggested a dip in physician support for DTC with less than half (48%) indicating that DTC advertising informed, educated, and empowered patients. And, a slight majority (53%) of physicians who responded to the survey were opposed to DTC advertising.
  • 78% feel that Direct-to-Consumer advertising leads to a preference for brand name drugs when a generic is adequate
  • Only 20% of physicians agree (5% strongly; 15% somewhat) that Direct-to-Consumer pharmaceutical advertising strengthens a patient’s relationship with a clinician

Doctors just don’t get it. They’re hanging on to dated beliefs when it comes to educated and empowered patients and feel that “they know best” even though sometimes patients know best because they have done their homework. The notion that someone is going to run to their doctor to request an Rx for an advertised medication.

A lot has happened in the last 6 years regarding healthcare. Most people are paying more for their health insurance with higher deductibles, digital health is still making strides, although it has a long way to go, and branded drugs are less than 20% of all Rx’s written.

Since people are paying so much for their healthcare they have decided to become active consumers of healthcare. They shop, compare, and research treatments THEY want. They are not happy to wait a week or longer to see a doctor and when they see a doctor they want time with him/her. Yet doctors, it seems, are unhappy with DTC according to the Compass survey.

Let me be clear, open and honest about DTC ads today:

1ne: DTC ads educate and inform patients about different health treatment options.

2wo: DTC TV ads, regardless of what the Compass Research shows, are becoming less effective in driving people to ask for an Rx. Only 7 percent of those queried reported that they made a point of speaking with a doctor about a drug after seeing it advertised on television, according to the survey conducted by Treato, a market research firm. And this was down from 21 percent in a previous survey.

3hree: People are unhappy with the time their doctors spend with them.

4our: Doctors are losing the public’s trust

5ive: Patients are “shopping” physicians as well as medical treatment centers.

6ix: It’s estimated that over 80% of the public go online for health information. 80 percent of Internet users, or about 93 million Americans, have searched for a health-related topic online, according to a study released Wednesday by the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

Doctors pretty much do a lot of complaining about external factors but have done little to take an active role in doing what the public wants when it comes to THEIR healthcare. This is one of the reasons why so many people are bypassing their doctors and using online health tools.

DTC ads are here to stay. The FDA just doesn’t get it when it comes to DTC TV ads and has to study everything in a way that doesn’t really answer questions.