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Study to examine direct-to-consumer drug ads on TV
Date:9/14/2011

e medication, you may end up in the hospital with a flare-up of your asthma," she said.

Emery and colleagues will use the Nielsen data to examine direct-to-consumer advertising on health care utilization and pharmaceutical sales of eight therapeutic classes of drugs promoted in the top 75 U.S. media markets from 2005-2009. The drugs include those for allergies, asthma, arthritis, depression, erectile dysfunction, hyperlipidemia, sleep disorder, and smoking cessation. Data from millions of patients will be examined for doctor visits, hospitalizations, new prescriptions, and prescription refills. The study will take into account different patient characteristics and regional differences in access to physicians.

The researchers will also evaluate the content of the ads to see how they vary among drug classes -- and whether these differences affect their impact.

There are three types of pharmaceutical ads, which are subject to different levels of regulation by the FDA: product claim ads, which include the drug name, an FDA-approved use, and the most significant risks; reminder ads, which give the name of the drug but not its uses, which do not have to contain risk information; and help-seeking ads, which describe a disease or condition but do not recommend a specific treatment.

"It's conceivable that the different types of advertising are used differently by drug class and that they might affect the way people respond to the advertisement in terms of their health-seeking behavior and their demand for the medication," said Emery.


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Contact: Sherri McGinnis McGinnis
smcginn@uic.edu
312-996-8277
University of Illinois at Chicago
Source:Eurekalert

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