Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Future of Pharmaceutical DTC Marketing

What is the future of pharmaceutical Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) marketing? Does it work? Is the ROI (return on investment) as high as people think? Is it a money waster?

Most clinicians will say that DTC has caused more headaches in the office. However, there are some cases of public health benefit from some of these DTC campaigns that have increased disease awareness for specific conditions. As a result of some DTC, patients are asking many more questions and bringing up topics that weren't traditionally discussed in the office setting. Is this good or bad? Can it lead to harm? (well, I supposed anything can lead to harm). But what if a patient insists on receiving a medication when it isn't indicated? (well, I suppose that happens all the time anyways).

So, will DTC get shut down? I doubt that it will. The FDA will increase the regulations on DTC, but it will continue. However, my personal hope is that pharma will spend less on DTC and channel its resources in other areas that can really contribute to improvements in public health.

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