Navigation Links
Study finds most TV prescription drug ads minimize risk information

Athens, Ga. Prescription drug ads on television first hit the airwaves just over a decade ago, but a new University of Georgia study finds that most of them still do not present a fair balance of information, especially when it comes to the risk of side effects.

A team led by Wendy Macias, associate professor in the UGA Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, analyzed a weeks worth of direct-to-consumer ads on broadcast and cable television. The found that the average 60-second ad contained less than 8 seconds (13 percent of total ad time) of side effect disclaimers, while the average 30-second ad has less than 4.4 seconds (15 percent of total ad time) of disclaimers. Most of the 15-second ads studied devoted no time at all to disclaimers.

These ads clearly dont devote enough time to information about risk, said Macias, whose results appear in the November/December issue of the journal Health Communication. Adding to the problem is that the information is often presented in a way that people arent likely to comprehend or even pay attention to.

Macias and her team, which includes Kartik Pashupati at Southern Methodist University and Liza Lewis at The University of Texas at Austin, found that almost all of the ads disclosed side effects solely in a voice-over portion of the ad. Only 2.2 percent of ads had the disclosure in voice-over as well as in text form.

The 1997 FDA guidelines that allowed drug companies to greatly expand the scope of their direct-to-consumer advertising required the companies to present a fair balance between information about effectiveness and information about risk.

Fair balance is not defined by the FDA, so Macias created a four-tiered classification: 1.) Lawbreakers are ads that dont mention side effects at all; 2.) bare minimums are those that list side effects but spend less than 10 percent of time on risk information; 3.) the main pack includes ads that spend more than 10 percent of time on risk information, and 4.) the proactive, safety oriented approach, which gives equal treatment to both the risks and the benefits of the drug.

The researchers found that two percent of the ads studied were clear lawbreakers, 10 percent met bare minimum requirements and 88 percent were in the main pack. The researchers analyzed commercials that aired in 2003, but Macias said current ads are similar in their content and leave much to be desired.

Very few advertisers are really doing well enough when it comes to actually trying to educate the consumer, she said. The ads are presented in such a way that the consumer would have to be paying very close attention and be adept at processing the information to really understand the risks as well as the benefits.

Proponents of direct-to-consumer ads argue that they help raise awareness of various medical conditions and their treatments. Critics argue that the ads drive up health care costs by steering consumers to costly drugs that they might not need. Still, Nielsen Media Research estimates that pharmaceutical companies spent more than $1.5 billion on direct-to-consumer television ads during the first half of 2007.

Macias said most ads could clearly do more to educate consumers, and points to recent advertisements for Johnson and Johnsons Ortho Evra birth control patch that give equal emphasis to the risks and benefits of the drug as an example of a more balanced approach.

A prescription drug is something that consumers should be making a rational decision about, Macias said. And the more information consumers have, the better decisions they can make.


Contact: Sam Fahmy
University of Georgia

Related medicine news :

1. Penn study finds pro-death proteins required to regulate healthy immune function
2. New study shows promise in reducing surgical risks associated with surgical bleeding
3. Study, meta-analysis examine factors associated with death from heatstroke
4. Study suggests loss of 2 types of neurons -- not just 1 -- triggers Parkinsons symptoms
5. Study says COPD testing is not measuring up
6. Preclinical study suggests organ-transplant drug may aid in lupus fight
7. Ability to cope with stress can increase good cholesterol in older white men, study finds
8. High alcohol consumption increases stroke risk, Tulane study says
9. Mailman School of Public Health study examines link between racial discrimination and substance use
10. Pitt study finds inequality in tobacco advertising
11. Stanford study highlights cost-effective method of lowering heart disease risks
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... The ... Dallas, TX, on January 29 and 30, 2016. The course welcomes dental professionals ... their practices, to learn how to better succeed in the modern dental marketplace. ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... key disease-causing component of bacteria could be effective in fighting methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus ... State University. , Their study showed that small molecule analogs that target the ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 , ... Dr. Seth ... three office locations, patients can visit Dr. Margulies to experience the best available orthodontic ... hold the title of "NJ Top Dentist"! , Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ”Dying Words: The ... be released on December 1, 2015, to coincide with World AIDS Day. The multi-media ... journalist who covered the AIDS epidemic as he was dying of the disease. , ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... Reports magazine, quoted Michael Hansen, Ph.D., a senior scientist at Consumer Reports as ... more so for a child’s exposure limits. , The original Nov 2015 CR ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... India , November 30, 2015 ... 2014, and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.6% ... was valued at USD 135.6 million in 2014, and is ... 2020. --> According to the new Market Research Report ... invasive, non-invasive), By End User (Hospitals, ambulatory care, others) - Analysis ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... PUNE, India , November 30, 2015 ... new market research report "Dental Lasers Market by Product (Soft ... Treatment, Periodontitis), End User (Hospitals, Clinics), and Geography - Global ... USD 224.7 Million by 2020, at a CAGR of 5.2% ... , Browse 140 market data Tables and 62 Figures spread ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... MOUNTLAKE TERRACE, Wash. and ST. ... Cross and Express Scripts (NASDAQ: ESRX ) today ... benefit agreement. The partnership, which began in 1999, will ... --> --> After evaluating pharmacy ... process, Premera concluded that Express Scripts continues to offer ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: