Consumers favor DTC ads

May 1, 2001

Pharmaceutical Representative

Fifty-one percent of consumers report that prescription drug advertising keeps them informed of available treatments, according to a survey of 12,000 individuals conducted by The NPD Group, Port Washington, NY.

Fifty-one percent of consumers report that prescription drug advertising keeps them informed of available treatments, according to a survey of 12,000 individuals conducted by The NPD Group, Port Washington, NY.

"Consumers are telling us that they want to be more informed of treatment alternatives," said Fariba Zamaniyan, senior account manager of NPD PharmTrends. "This is evidenced by their positive response to prescription-branded drug ads."

Not all consumers agree that prescription drug advertising is beneficial. Thirty-eight percent of those interviewed feel that there is too much advertising for these products. One-third said that the advertisements are too confusing and that they would not like to see more prescription drug advertising in the future.

Sales and recall

"Consumers who are suffering from a disease or condition are more interested in what the prescription drug advertisements have to say," said Zamaniyan. "Therefore, we see a correlation between prescription sales and ad recall." According to NPD, drug sales have seen steady growth. The strongest year for direct-to-consumer prescription advertising was 1999, in which DTC ads helped drive prescription growth by 18%. In the year ending September 2000, sales growth remained brisk but was slightly less than the peak in 1999.

"With more 'blockbuster' brands going off-patent in the next few years, it will be more important than ever for drug manufacturers to raise awareness for existing and upcoming formulations," said Zamaniyan. PR

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