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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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
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Abuse of Prescription of Narcotics in Primary Care and Its Prevention Introduction In the United States, about 50 million individuals have been estimated to suffer from chronic pain which attributes to almost $70 billion of over-all expenses. Through the years, cancer patients have gradually been reduced of their pain affliction by the introduction of many medications addressing such needs; however, non-malignant chronic pain has not been equally fortunate (Schneider, 1998).
Generally, abuse of drugs such as alcohol, tobacco and marijuana has remained dominant among the teens but prescription drug abuse has rapidly increased over the last couple of years. Abuse of prescription drugs such as barbiturates, is continuously becoming popular among US teenagers living in today’s fast paced world according to Henn and DeEugenio (11). Prescription drugs though recommended by the doctor may have an effect on the mind and body of the individual.
This makes the US the highest spender in terms of actual dollars per capita, as well as Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Prescription drugs amount to 10% of overall healthcare expenditure, about $250 billion in 2009 (GAO, 2011). The following chart outlines the evolution of government spending on prescription drugs.
This branch of medicine makes up part of alternative medicine that involves the use of non-conventional methods in preventive and curative medicine. Early in the 19th century before widespread use of chemical analysis, there was widespread use of herbal drugs. After the advent of chemical analysis, scientists identified the active components in these drugs. Using their results, they prepared laboratory analogs, and this started the decline of herbal medicine (University of Maryland Medical Center, UMMC, 2010).
These costs are increasingly becoming necessary to governments and the health care sector as essential drugs are becoming out of reach to sections of the society especially the elderly. Emerging reports have indicated that many of Americans have inherent challenges in paying for the prescription medicines affecting their quality of life and health outcomes.
In combination with the wide accessibility of drugs from many sources such as online pharmacies, the household medicine cabinet, and some physicians, it is very important that policiesmust be strengthened and enforced among all persons dispensing and selling such drugs, to prevent further misuse, aside from working hard to recover all unused medications in homes.
For the last few years, prescription pill abuse has been raising great challenges to healthcares as teenagers constitute the major risk group concerned. According to physicians, misinformation is the major factor that influences teens to abuse
463). When the protection patent term of the originator product expires, submissions may be filed by other manufacturers to the regulatory authorities to get marketing of the originator medicine’s generic versions approved.
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