The public health impact of direct-to-consumer advertising in the United States

Date of publication: February 17, 2002


While the United States has pioneered the use of direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA) of prescription drugs, this topic is being discussed and considered by policymakers in Europe and many other countries.These countries are looking at the United States and the impact of DTCA there before deciding on whether, how and when to allow DTCA in their countries. This movement is being fuelled by the Internet, which - unlike traditional media advertising - knows few international boundaries. The research presented in this paper examines consumers' and physicians' perceptions of and experiences with pharmaceutical advertising, and its impact on patient-physician relations and patient health.

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