Direct to consumer ads can be misleading, say researchers
Pharmaceutical ads marketed directly to the consumer may minimize the risks and exaggerate the benefits of medications, often confusing the public about what drugs are most effective, but Dartmouth Medical School (DMS) researchers have found a remedy. The solution, they say, lies in a "prescription drug benefits box," a standardized table on every direct-to-consumer (DTC) ad that would present FDA approval data in clear, easy to understand terms.
Their study, appearing online in Health Affairs (http://www.healthaffairs.org), measured the public’s reaction to a benefit box that was inserted on three randomly selected DTC ads. The benefit box was modeled after the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) "Nutrition Facts Box" that appears on food packaging, such as cereal boxes. The box contained information obtained from the clinical trials of each drug that compared the various outcomes of patients who took the drug and those who took a placebo.
Andy Nordhoff | EurekAlert!
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