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Study links improved consumer welfare to increased prescription drug advertising efforts
Date:11/26/2012

for your condition, which leads to welfare improvement."

Because of the role of physician in the decision-making process, pharmaceutical companies have to market their drugs to the two purchasing agents involvedthe consumer and the physician.

"When you see an advertisement for something like Coke, the intent is to give you an incentive to go buy the product," she said. "But with the prescription drug market, the consumer is not the final decision maker. You have to go through a gatekeeper in the physician."

Jayawardhana's research indicates those advertising effortsto both consumers and physiciansare paying off. In addition to heightened consumer awareness, targeted advertising toward physicians has both an informative and persuasive effect on the selection of the drug.

Jayawardhana, who holds master's and doctoral degrees in economics from the University of Virginia, said critics of the federal deregulation have suggested the marketing spending boom could lead to a myriad of harmful resultssuch as patients requesting and receiving inappropriate drugs or higher dosages than necessary from their physician.

While such incidences may be possible, it is difficult to recognize such outcomes in the data. However, because physicians act as gatekeepers for prescription drugs and consumers have limited access to advertised products, such negative outcomes may be scarce, she said.


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Contact: Jayani Jayawardhana
jayaward@uga.edu
706-369-5963
University of Georgia
Source:Eurekalert  

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