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DTC Growing in Acceptance
Various articles, compiled by Lew Miller

A number of studies are supporting the position that direct-to-consumer advertising is making an impact on pharmaceutical prescribing. Whether the impact is positive depends on your point of view.

Former FDA Commission David Kessler now says he was wroing in opposing changes in regulations to permit DTC. He feels the industry has had a "pretty good track record."

And the FDA's own survey of consumers, released three months ago, says that most of those surveyed had seen a DTC ad in recent months. But only 5 per cent said an ad for a prescription drug sent them to the doctor, and 4 per cent said they went because they wanted an advertised drug.

But another FDA study of patients said that 18 per cent of consumers said that an ad caused them to ask a physician about a medical condition they hadn't discussed previously. And a Scott-Levin study of physicians says that 20 per cent of patients request drugs for appropriate conditions by name in the most-promoted categories. Celebrex, for example, was requested by almost 2 million patients and prescribed in 85 per cent of cases.

Some critics in Congress feel that pharmaceutical companies should not be allowed to deduct the cost of DTC advertising to the extent it exceeds spending on research!

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