Consumers Favor Drug Ads

  • by February 21, 2001
Fifty-one percent of consumers report prescription (Rx) drug advertising keeps them informed of available Rx treatments, according to new information released by marketing information provider The NPD Group. The firm's PharmTrends unit conducted a survey among more than 12,000 individuals, which confirmed that consumers agree Rx drug advertising helps them take more control of their personal health care and motivates them to request specific drug brands of their physicians.

"When it comes to health care, consumers are telling us that they want to be more informed of their treatment alternatives," stated Fariba Zamaniyan, senior account manager of NPD PharmTrends. "This is evidenced by their positive response to Rx-branded drug ads.

But, Zamaniyan pointed out, “the key to success for Rx drug advertising is whether or not the ads prompt doctor visits, generate prescription fulfillment for that drug, and improve patients' likelihood to comply with their recommended drug therapy." NPD's study indicates that consumers aren't flocking to their doctor's office because of an Rx drug they became aware of through advertising. Only 11% of the consumers interviewed report they were actually prompted to make a doctor's appointment to inquire about the Rx drug they saw advertised. Not surprisingly, two-thirds of consumers who were prompted to visit their doctor because of a Rx drug advertisement had Rx drug insurance. Although consumers may not be making appointments to talk specifically about drugs seen in advertisements, they are communicating with their physicians. NPD's data show they do discuss the Rx drugs they became aware of through advertisements. Nearly a quarter of the respondents asked their doctors about specific Rx drugs they learned about through direct-to-consumer (DTC) ads. Not all consumers agree that Rx drug advertising is beneficial. Thirty-eight percent of consumers interviewed feel that there is too much advertising for these products. One-third said that the advertisements are too confusing and that they would not like to see more Rx drug advertising in the future.

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