Direct to Consumer: Q&A with Mark Spellman and Loreen Babcock - Pharmaceutical Executive


Direct to Consumer: Q&A with Mark Spellman and Loreen Babcock
Operation Fear Factor

Pharmaceutical Executive

In recent years, there's been a lot of debate over the use—and possible abuse—of DTC advertising. Do you think there's still a place for consumer drug advertising?

BABCOCK: There is something to be said for helping people become aware of what their options are. We can help ease that process for them, to help them understand what their options are, and how they can get more information. I think that's where the greatest value is of DTC advertising lies.

We hear this all the time from people: "Help me understand how to synthesize all the information, to make sense of it, so I don't go into my doctor's office with reams of paper and end up frustrating him or her because I'm so unfocused."

SPELLMAN: If direct-to-consumer marketing is a good thing, it's because it improves patient education and the quality of the doctor-patient conversation. I recently attended a focus group, and the people looking at the materials said, "Wow, this is great. Based on what I've read in these materials, I can sound at least halfway intelligent with my doctor. I can hold up my end of the conversation. This really gives me the confidence to go in there and have that conversation."


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