While some may contend that direct-to-consumer advertising is more effective than doctors at motivating patients; research argues, “ETC is ineffective and will create a distraction in the examination room, inevitably rain healthcare dollars, dramatically increase unknown adverse effects and strain patient-doctor relationships (Stance, 2007). ” This review of the literature on direct-to- consumer marketing of pharmaceuticals will focus on the Ill advised prescription drugs that are presented straight to the consumer and possibly detrimental to their health.
In the article “On TRACK: Intended and unintended Consequences of Direct- to-consumer Drug Market,” Frey (2007), discussed how “the shotgun approach of marketing to the masses of drugs designed for narrow use in specific patients can rate a distraction in the examination room. ” He mentions how a patient will enter an examination room, “suffering and requesting help; they are accompanied by their explanatory models and influences from popular advertising.
Physicians enter with their expertise and desire to help, as well as their own values and beliefs such as, what constitutes depression and adjustment disorders, how these illnesses should be treated, how much a physician should give the patient. What emerges in the course of their interaction was a rich, complex dance in which both parties mutually influenced the other. There Is no doubt that prescription drugs are Indeed an Issue that has a major impact on public health and consumer welfare. The economical and societal effect of prescription drug advertising is a very important issue that strikes concerns for many. “By 2005, expenditures for direct-to-consumer advertising were expected to compromise to 20% of total drug market cost and increase to $7. 5 billion (Gravity, 2000). In addition, ” Finding that less expensive and equally efficacious generic alternatives are available for 17 of the 24 drugs for which direct- o-consumer ads were found, suggest that ETC pharmaceutical ads may be a contributing factor to the skyrocketing costs of health care In the united states (Stance, 2007). ” “Although some direct to consumer ads may motivate some patients to seek care for previously undiagnosed conditions, it may also spur other patients to make unnecessary visits to the doctor and incur the risk of medication side effects while gaining little benefit (Karakul, 2000). The article On TRACK: Intended and unintended Consequences of Direct-to Consumer Drug Marketing, Stance (2007) mentions, “the possibility of patients who could benefit from the drugs avoiding or stopping them because of poorly articulated concerns, for example, the patient who can reduce their risk of cardiac death frequently will not take their cholesterol- lowering stating because they have been scared by side effects listed in the ads.
Because the true risks of direct-to-consumer drugs are unknown, proper education of side effects and dangers of ETC drugs should be accessible and the public should be made aware of the potential harm. ” In conclusion, the long and drawn out debate on Consumers can only hope that proper regulations are in place to educate consumers properly. Since, the true net benefits and risks are unidentified, drug manufacturers and direct-to-consumer promotion will be around and very relevant for years to come.