It’s Good for What Ails You

The debate about direct-to-consumer ads for prescription drugs has focused on their role in recruiting new users. But a study by Prevention suggests such ads help to keep patients “compliant” with a prescription. Among adults who’ve seen ads for “their” drug, 40 percent said this makes them feel better about its benefits. And 17 percent said the ads “make them more likely to take their medicine.” The issue of compliance is important, notes the report, since many of the advertised drugs are prescribed to treat “long-term chronic disease.” Still, are doctors sick of having patients badger them about drugs seen on television? A study conducted by Market Measures/Cozint (and funded by Pfizer) suggests otherwise: 61 percent of physicians polled said such advertising has a “beneficial effect” on their interaction with patients.