Document Detail

Advertising of prescription-only medicines to the public: does evidence of benefit counterbalance harm?
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22429162     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Data-Review    
Since the global withdrawal of rofecoxib (Vioxx) in 2004, concerns about public health effects of direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA) have grown. A systematic review of the research evidence on behavioral, health, and cost effects, published in 2005, found four studies meeting inclusion criteria, which showed that DTCA increases prescribing volume and patient demand, and shifts prescribing. From 2005 to 2010, nine studies met similar criteria. These largely confirm previous results. Additional effects include a shift to less appropriate prescribing, differential effects by patient price sensitivity and drug type, switches to less cost-effective treatment, and sustained sales despite a price increase. Claimed effects on adherence do not stand up to scrutiny and are based mainly on negative trials. There is no evidence of improved treatment quality or early provision of needed care. If policy is to be informed by evidence, the strength of research methods and ability to assess causality need to be considered.
Barbara Mintzes
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Annual review of public health     Volume:  33     ISSN:  1545-2093     ISO Abbreviation:  Annu Rev Public Health     Publication Date:  2012 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-03-20     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8006431     Medline TA:  Annu Rev Public Health     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  259-77     Citation Subset:  IM    
Therapeutics Initiative, Department of Anesthesiology, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada V6T 1Z3; email:
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