What Effect Has Direct To Consumer Advertising Had On The Prescription Drug Market In The United States?
Has This Advertising Had An Effect On The Drug Approval Process? Please See Attached For Some Notes To Use
The paper aims for discussing the effect of direct to consumer advertising (DCTA) on the prescription drug market of United States and on the approval of a particular drug. DCTA is an advertising approach that is targeted at the patients directly instead of the healthcare professionals.
DCTA involves a display of the drugs to the consumers from an overly positive perspective. The advertising increases the level of profit in the drug market (Mackey, Cuomo and Liang 2015). The patients feel that they know enough about the drugs and they buy the medication without consulting with the physicians. However, the prescription drug market involves selling and buying the drugs that were prescribed by a physician. A survey study found that the patients in USA were asking the physicians questions on the drugs. They were more aware of the possible treatment of their conditions. According to the physicians the DCTA help the patients in becoming more aware of the treatment procedures (fda.gov 2020). However, even though the DCTA helps the patients in understanding the benefits of a drug but it fails to acknowledge the harmful effects of the drug. The advertisements make the patients believe in the efficacy of a particular drug more than it already is, which increase the benefits of the drug market but it increases the clinical risks in the patient. The physicians also reported that the patients ask for prescribing a medication of some specific brand names, which is also an indication of increased benefit in the prescription drug market that results from the DCTA (Mackey, Cuomo and Liang 2015).
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) agency is an agency that is controlled by US Government and is responsible for the approval of different drugs for different disease conditions. According to the FDA guidelines, a drug cannot be advertised unless it is approved by the FDA to treat a specific condition. However, FDA does not monitor the DCT advertising events to determine whether or not the advertisements are misleading the consumers or the patients (fda.gov 2020). The advertisements do not have any effect on the drug receiving the FDA approval. According to the guidelines provided by FDA, an advertisement of a drug must be describing the side effects and the harmful effects of the drug in the advertisement, so the consumers are not misguided about the drugs. However, since there is no monitoring of the advertisements, the companies who develop the drugs might not be following the guidelines. If the fact is identified by the consumers they can contact FDA to inform that, which might lead to banning of the drug from the market.
Hence it can be concluded that the direct to consumer advertising (DCTA) events might be an effective strategy to increase the marketing of the drug due to various reasons. However, the events have no effect on gaining the approval of the FDA on the relative drug. According to the law, the drugs can be advertised only if it is FDA approved.
fda.gov, 2020. [online] fda.gov. Available at: <https://www.fda.gov/drugs/prescription-drug-advertising/prescription-drug-advertising-questions-and-answers> [Accessed 11 March 2020].
fda.gov, 2020. [online] fda.gov. Available at: <https://www.fda.gov/drugs/drug-information-consumers/impact-direct-consumer-advertising> [Accessed 11 March 2020].
Mackey, T.K., Cuomo, R.E. and Liang, B.A., 2015. The rise of digital direct-to-consumer advertising?: Comparison of direct-to-consumer advertising expenditure trends from publicly available data sources and global policy implications. BMC health services research, 15(1), p.236.
Schwartz, L.M. and Woloshin, S., 2019. Medical marketing in the United States, 1997-2016. Jama, 321(1), pp.80-96.