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Prescription drugs - Research Paper Example

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Consumer advertising of prescription drugs on Television is permitted in the US but not in the European Union or other advanced economies. There are arguments both in favor of such advertising and against it…
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Download file to see previous pages The large numbers of emergency room admissions from prescription drug abuse in the US are a compelling argument against DTC advertising. There is the need for pharma companies to show a higher degree of restraint in such DTC advertising, keeping in mind that the messages are viewed by people with varying levels of understanding of possible side effects from improper use of prescription drugs. Key words: Prescription Drugs, DTC advertising 1. Introduction The US is the only country in the world (apart from New Zealand) that permits Television advertisements for prescription drugs. The US Federal Drugs Administration (FDA) relaxed its requirements for information content needed in such advertising in 1997. The pharma industry’s spending on DTC (direct-to-customer) advertisements has grown rapidly since the FDA rule change and reached a peak of over $ 6 billion in 2006 and 2007 before falling off due to the global economic crisis. The spending in 2012 was still a high $ 3.47 billion (Mack, 2013). The European Union does not permit DTC advertising by pharma companies. This was reaffirmed in December 2010 when 22 of the 27 EU countries voted against the proposal despite lobbying by the pharma industry. Instead, the new ad regulations have become even tougher with the focus “on the rights of the patient to get the information he needs and not on the rights of pharma companies to spread information” (Golby, 2010).
This paper examines the arguments in favor and against DTC advertising prescription drugs.
PhRMA, the pharma industry association, in its 2008 guidelines for DTC advertising lists the benefits of DTC advertising as increased patient awareness about disease and the treatment options. The ads motivate patients to contact their doctors and engage in a dialogue about health concerns and increases likelihood of receiving care for conditions that get under-diagnosed or under treated. The advertisements also help patients to continue taking the prescribed medication (PhRMA, 2008). The beneficial effects of DTC advertising based on surveys of patients and doctors are shown in the chart below (Shaw, 2008). The chart shows that 95% of the benefit is from patient awareness and better discussion the doctor can have with the patient. The question clearly is whether these benefits outweigh potential negative effects of DTC advertising. 3. Top pharma companies advertising budgets in 2012 The table below shows the 2012 advertising budgets of the top 10 global pharma companies. The tabulation has been made from data published on 26 February 2013 in FiercePharma.com (Palmer, 2013) Pharma Ad Spend 2012 ( in $ million)             TV Magazine Other Total  Products     Pfizer 342.7 240 39.6 622.3 Celebrex- pain drug, Viagra, Lyrica - pain drug Eli Lilly 367.3 43.4 22.7 433.4 Cymbalta for pain, Cymbalta for depression, Cialis Abbott 264 35 2.7 301.7 Humira for arthritis, AndroGel, Humira for Crohn's disease Merck 133.7 87.8 64 285.5 Shingles awareness, Nasonex, Zostavax Amgen 164 52.1 13.2 229.3 Enbrel for arthritis, Prolia, Enbrel for psoriasis Astra Zeneca 156.5 41 11.8 209.3 Nexium - stomach , Symbicort, Crestor - cholesterol Allergan 85.9 107.2 0.23 193.3 Restasis, Botox for wrinkles, Botox for migbraine Boehringer 119.6 54.7 0.36 174.7 Spiriva, Pradaxa Glaxo SmithKline 70.3 84.8 15.5 170.6 Advair Diskus - respiratory , Lovaza - cholesterol , Jalyn Otsuka 73.9 41.2 0 115.1 ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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