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Am J Prev Med. 2015 May;48(5):575-9. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2014.12.001.

Trends in exposure to televised prescription drug advertising, 2003-2011.

Author information

1
School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin. Electronic address: rkornfield@wisc.edu.
2
Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; Center for Drug Safety and Effectiveness, Johns Hopkins University; Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland.
3
Department of Pharmacy Systems, Outcomes and Policy; Center for Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomic Research.
4
Health Media Collaboratory, Institute for Health Research and Policy, University of Illinois, Chicago, Illinois.
5
Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla; Department of Veterans Affairs of San Diego Healthcare System, San Diego, California.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

TV accounts for more than half of pharmaceutical direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA) spending in the U.S. The purpose of this study is to quantify average household exposure to branded and non-branded (help-seeking) televised prescription drug advertisements and describe variation over time and according to medication indication and geography.

METHODS:

In 2013, Nielsen TV ratings were compiled for prescription pharmaceutical advertising that aired between 2003 and 2011 for the top 75 U.S. media markets. All advertisements were coded as branded or help-seeking. Advertisements were further coded for one of eight prevalent indications (allergies, arthritis, asthma, erectile dysfunction, high cholesterol, smoking cessation, depression, and sleep disorder) or as "other."

RESULTS:

Televised DTCA exposure increased from 2003 to 2007 and then declined 43% by 2011, to 111 monthly prescription drug advertisements per household. The examined indications were associated with varying amounts and patterns of exposure, with greatest declines among medications for allergies and sleep disorders. Help-seeking advertisements comprised 10% of total exposure, with substantial variation by indication.

CONCLUSIONS:

Considerations of DTCA's effects on health care should take into account the shifting concentration of advertising across indications.

PMID:
25891057
PMCID:
PMC4405658
DOI:
10.1016/j.amepre.2014.12.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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