Direct To Consumer Advertising Effects

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Pharmaceutical companies spend billions of dollars advertising pharmaceutical drugs to consumers, medical journals, and healthcare providers. In fact, according to Mahon’s publication “Impact of Direct-To-Consumer Advertising on Healthcare Providers and Consumers,” for every one dollar that pharmaceutical companies spent on advertising, the sales quadrupled to a shocking $4.20 (417). What is even more frightening, is that this extremely profitable return on advertisements is continuing to grow as pharmaceutical companies are increasing their spending on advertisements. As Fottler, Ford, and Heaton point out in the book “Achieving Service Excellence: Strategies for Healthcare,” the pharmaceutical industry is very competitive, so in order…show more content…
This is concerning because pharmaceutical advertisements are negatively impacting clinical decisions and changing the behavior and beliefs of consumers, medical journals, and healthcare providers. Thus, pharmaceutical companies are advertising excessively and leading to unfavorable changes in clinical decisions. One of the most alarming ways pharmaceutical companies advertise and manipulate the behaviors and beliefs of consumers is through direct-to-consumer advertising. As reported by Almasi et al. in "What Are the Public Health Effects of Direct-To-Consumer Drug Advertising?", the direct-to-consumer advertising method has such detrimental impacts on consumers that, aside from the United States and New Zealand, all other industrialized countries have banned direct-to-consumer advertising (284). Direct-to-consumer advertising has been banned in other industrialized countries because it has been found to adversely impact consumers’ well-being and increase the inappropriate use of prescription medication. This is exemplified in the video commercial for the drug Paroxetine, an anti-depressant. The commercial begins by defining social anxiety disorder as an…show more content…
This advertising method is directed at healthcare providers rather than consumers, as is the case in direct-to-consumer advertising. This method of pharmaceutical advertising is equally as concerning because as reported by Weeks, Wallace, and Kimberly in the article "The Changing Face of Pharmaceutical Advertising," healthcare providers “control more than 80% of healthcare expenditures” with their power to write prescription medication (27). Pharmaceutical companies understand this relationship and thus, aggressively advertise to healthcare providers through medical journals and magazines. The pharmaceutical advertisements to healthcare providers is problematic because as D’Arcy and Moynihan notes in her article “Can the Relationship between Doctors and Drug Companies Ever Be a Healthy One?” there is a direct conflict of interest between the two parties. Pharmaceutical companies are businesses that want to “maximize profit” while the goal of a healthcare provider is to “provide the best care possible for patients” (1). There is an outlandish amount of pharmaceutical advertising that healthcare providers are exposed to as they peruse medical journals and magazines. The immense power that these advertisements hold on the prescribing behavior and beliefs of healthcare providers coupled with the high volume of advertisements is a dauntingly influential
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