How People React To Direct-To-Consumer Drug Ads

Armen Hareyan's picture

Direct-To-Consumer Drug Ads


FDA on Tuesdayannounced plans to study whether positive images featured indirect-to-consumer television advertisements for medications "distractconsumers from carefully considering and encoding" audio warnings aboutthe treatments, the AP/Seattle Post-Intelligencerreports. For the study, FDA plans to examine the reactions of 2,000consumers to such ads to determine whether they retain a positiveimpression of medications despite audio warnings about potential sideeffects. In addition, FDA will study the effects of text that appearson the screen during such ads.

According to FDA, text thatdirects consumers to company Web sites or magazine ads for moreinformation might distract them from audio warnings about medications,while text that repeats the language of such warnings might helpreinforce them. Sidney Wolfe, director of the Health Research Groupat Public Citizen, said, "If advertisers were really interested ingetting information about drug risks out, they'd show pictures of thoseproblems, but you almost never see that."

In a statement, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America said that DTC TV ads provide consumers with important information about diseases and medications (AP/Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 8/21).

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