The waning effect of direct to consumer drug advertising

Patients have finally become wary of drug advertising they see on TV or read in a newspaper.

MedPage Today reports a study that showed that in only 3.5 percent of encounters did a patient ask about a specific new prescription medication, down from almost 16 percent five years ago.

Recent scandals and negative publicity have placed the reputation of the pharmaceutical industry only slightly higher than that of health insurers, and patients are finally catching on.

One explanation was the shift in focus, where “the lower rate of medication inquiry may reflect recent industry strategies focused on promoting diseases and symptoms (which was not measured in this study), rather than specific medications.”

Whatever the cause, hopefully the declining effectiveness of expensive drug advertising directed to consumers will make Big Pharma cease the practice altogether.