Script Buying Enhanced By DTC Ads
The company studied the three leading advertised drug categories--allergy medicines, statins (cholesterol reducing medicines) and COX-2s (arthritis medicines like Celebrex and Vioxx). Allergy medicines were chosen because they were the first and highest advertised category. Arthritis drug advertising had been slow, but Cox-2s reversed the trend with heavy advertising beginning in 2000.
For all three categories, refill rates were stable among non-ad-aware buyers, showing no increase in persistency, but persistency shot up for ad aware buyers. "We looked at them to determine whether DTC encourages consumers to fill more prescriptions than those not aware," says Fariba Zamaniyan, a director of Ipsos Pharmtrends. "There's a higher level of prescription fulfillment for people aware of advertising for those brands."
The research proves that DTC advertising doesn't just stimulate interest and trial in prescription drugs, but promotes repeated sale. "Not only are they trying them for the first time, but they're more likely to continue buying them," she says. "It encourages them to be more compliant."
The findings will likely increase DTC advertising for prescription drugs because they show that ad aware patients "stay on the drug longer and take their medicine more regularly." The advertising "increases persistence/loyalty to the drug."
Though the research didn't focus on the types of DTC advertising used, Zamaniyan says the overwhelming majority is TV. "Nearly 80% is TV driven in most categories in terms of dollars," she says.