TV drug ad study

  1. Did you guys see the story this morning on "Good Morning America" about drug advertising?


    Someone did a study were they sent actors with hidden recorders into doctor's offices. They actor's would describe symptoms from severe depression that should be treated with medication, to vague symptoms that would not benefit from a prescription.

    They study concluded that if a patient asked for a drug by name they were more likely to receive it.

    They said that most people were more likely to ask for drugs by name because the saw an ad on TV.

    One group is recommended a three-year ban on TV advertising for all new drugs to weed out the bad stuff.

    What do you guys think?

    Agape
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    About sunnyjohn

    Joined: Feb '05; Posts: 2,694; Likes: 126
    from US

    23 Comments

  3. by   lpnadmin
    Personally, I think restricting ads for prescription meds would be a good idea. I remember watching one evening newscast and over half the ads were for drugs or drug-related items.

    I may be a bit cynical about this, but if drug companies can spend a ton of money on advertising a particular male enhancement drug (for example), then there is no reason why a comparative amount can't be spent on orphan drugs (drugs used to treat uncommon diseases, and profits from such drugs would be minimal at best).
  4. by   tmbatton
    Quote from lpnadmin
    Personally, I think restricting ads for prescription meds would be a good idea. I remember watching one evening newscast and over half the ads were for drugs or drug-related items.

    I may be a bit cynical about this, but if drug companies can spend a ton of money on advertising a particular male enhancement drug (for example), then there is no reason why a comparative amount can't be spent on orphan drugs (drugs used to treat uncommon diseases, and profits from such drugs would be minimal at best).
    I feel restricting drug ads is a good idea also. Is nothing private these days? Yes, it is the patient's responsibility to educate themselves in regards to any symptoms or diagnosises they exhibit;however, there are many avenues to do this without TV advertising. This is simply about money.
  5. by   gwenith
    We do not allow advertising of drugs. They of course try to find ways around that like advertising about weight loss and advising you "see your doctor" but apart from some OTC meds NOTHING is allowed to be advertised.

    We also pay way way less than you do for meds.

    Most of the cost of US drugs IS advertising.

    To read more about this read this transcript http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/conte...4/s1167518.htm
  6. by   paytonsnana
    :angryfire May God have mercy on us all. The ads for medication are nothing more than hell for the medical profession. I cannot count the times I have had a patient insist on a certain drug that they saw on TV. Those ads make it sound as if all your problems will suddenly dissapear if you take this or that medication. The worst part of all, the patient will no doubtly sue the provider for not giving the med., or for giving the med and the patient doesn't return to the life of a 20 year old with the stamina and looks they think they should have. May God have mercy on mothers who insist on an antibiotic for their child that only has a virus. Medications that are prescribed just to shut someone up only create super bugs that are nearly impossible to get rid of. Some how people need to realize that drug abuse is more than taking an illegal drug, it is also the misuse of a legal drug as well. :angryfire
  7. by   cruisinRN
    Quote from paytonsnana
    :angryfire May God have mercy on us all. The ads for medication are nothing more than hell for the medical profession. I cannot count the times I have had a patient insist on a certain drug that they saw on TV. Those ads make it sound as if all your problems will suddenly dissapear if you take this or that medication. The worst part of all, the patient will no doubtly sue the provider for not giving the med., or for giving the med and the patient doesn't return to the life of a 20 year old with the stamina and looks they think they should have. May God have mercy on mothers who insist on an antibiotic for their child that only has a virus. Medications that are prescribed just to shut someone up only create super bugs that are nearly impossible to get rid of. Some how people need to realize that drug abuse is more than taking an illegal drug, it is also the misuse of a legal drug as well. :angryfire
    Yes, the commercials are so convincing. If I didn't know better, I'd probably be on all of them (except for the male specific drugs, ha!).
  8. by   Cassinia
    Besides all the above reasons for not advertising drugs on tv (which I'm in agreement with), there's the fact most people listen to what it does and ignores the rest of the commericial about the side-effects. Of coarse, the advertisers are going to scream "freedome of speech" to keep from getting the commercials taken from the air waves. Of coarse, it will all come down to who has the most powerful lobbies in Washington.
  9. by   BeachNurse
    Let me say that the physicians have the responsibility to prescribe medically-necessary medication. If they think a patient has, per your example, "severe depression", the patient should be evaluated by a psychiatrist. I highly doubt a specialist would listen to a list of symtoms and head right for the free sample and a script. What types of doctors were studied? Were they primary care physicians, doc in a box, what??

    Any person can get on the internet and search for any drug that treats a variety of symptoms. What next, ban the internet? Block websites that feature new drugs? No, I do not agree that people should watch a commercial and then "ask their doctor about ___". I feel that the physician is probably reminded and visited enough to know that the meds are out there, and if it is medically appropriate, they can prescribe. They may have to do tests, extensive hx, refer to a specialist, to get an accurate diagnosis. The onus is on the physician, NOT the drug companies, to give proper diagnosis, care and medications.
  10. by   lsyorke
    "The onus is on the physician, NOT the drug companies, to give proper diagnosis, care and medications."

    And the onus is on the drug companies to do non-biased, accurate clinical trials and report ALL findings to the medical journals, regardless of good or bad.Then doctors would have ALL the information that they need to prescribe safely.
  11. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Quote from lsyorke
    "The onus is on the physician, NOT the drug companies, to give proper diagnosis, care and medications."

    And the onus is on the drug companies to do non-biased, accurate clinical trials and report ALL findings to the medical journals, regardless of good or bad.Then doctors would have ALL the information that they need to prescribe safely.
    i agree 100%
  12. by   lsyorke
    http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/med...hp?newsid=23530

    How Ads Can Influence Physicians to Prescribe Certain Medications, Study Illustrates
    28 Apr 2005

    Actors who posed as patients with symptoms of stress and fatigue were five times as likely to be given a prescription for an antidepressant if they mentioned television ads about GlaxoSmithKline's antidepressant Paxil, according to a study published Wednesday in the... Journal of the American Medical Association, the Washington Post reports (Vedantam/Kaufman, Washington Post, 4/27). In the study -- led by Richard Kravitz, a University of California-Davis professor of medicine -- middle-aged white women posed as patients for 298 visits to 152 primary-care physicians and internists in three cities during 2003 and 2004 (Bowman, Scripps Howard/Detroit News, 4/27). The doctors previously had agreed to participate in a study "assessing social influences on practice" and were told they would receive two undercover visits several months apart. In one script, the actors played the role of a 45-year-old divorcee who had just lost her job and was experiencing stress, fatigue and back pain -- symptoms of an adjustment disorder that usually can be treated without medication. In another scenario, the actors posed as a 48-year-old divorcee who had feelings of sadness for one month, did not sleep well, had appetite loss and lost interest in usual activities -- symptoms of a major depressive disorder. Some of the actors said, "I saw this ad on TV the other night. It was about Paxil. Some things about the ad really struck me. I was wondering if you thought Paxil might help me." Others said, "I was watching this TV program the other night. It really got me thinking. I was wondering if you thought a medicine might help me." Other actors made no mention of TV advertisements or specific medications. Visits were recorded on a mini-disc in the actors' purses (Zarembo, Los Angeles Times, 4/27).
    Study Results
    The study found that:



    Most actors who did not demonstrate symptoms of depression were not given a prescription;


    Actors who asked for Paxil received a prescription 55% of the time and half of the time they were diagnosed as depressed (Washington Post, 4/27);


    Actors who displayed the symptoms of major depression and requested to be prescribed Paxil were given antidepressants 53% of the time. Paxil was the drug prescribed in 27% of those instances;


    Actors who requested a prescription but did not mention a specific drug received a prescription 76% of the time; and


    Actors who did not specifically request a prescription received one in 31% of cases (Reuters/Wall Street Journal, 4/27).


    In addition, actors who mentioned the Paxil ad received appropriate treatment for depression -- a prescription, a referral to a mental health specialist or a follow-up visit in two weeks -- 90% of the time, while actors who did not mention the Paxil ad received appropriate treatment in 56% of the cases. Kravitz said the best care for patients with major depressive disorder or adjustment disorder occurred when the actors mentioned antidepressants but did not name a specific drug (Los Angeles Times, 4/27). According to the report, "These results underscore the idea that patients have substantial influence on physicians. ... The results also suggest that direct-to-consumer advertising may have competing effects of quality, potentially averting underuse (by making people aware of drugs) while also promoting overuse." The study states that its findings should "sound a cautionary note for [DTC] advertising but also highlight opportunities for improving care of depression (and perhaps other chronic conditions) by using public media channels to expand patient involvement in care" (Reuters/Wall Street Journal, 4/27).
    Accompanying Editorial
    In an accompanying JAMA editorial, Matthew Hollon, an internist at the University of Washington, wrote, "It is a haphazard approach to health promotion that is driven primarily by the pharmaceutical industry's interest in turning a profit. The most overlooked problem in the health care system today is the extent to which it is permeated by avarice." Hollon wrote that 80% of physicians believe that patients request medications they do not need because of DTC ads and that 10% of physicians believe DTC ads are a positive influence.

    Reaction
    Hollon and researchers who conducted the study suggested that DTC ads be "tempered" by improved physician training and public service announcements funded by a tax on the pharmaceutical industry, the Post reports. Hollon and researchers also recommended considering a ban on ads for new drugs until their risks are fully documented. Billy Tauzin, president and CEO of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, said, "We can do a much better job with the advertising. The ads can do a great job making sure people who need medications and are undertreated get help. We can also make it clear that a particular product is meant for people with this particular problem and for those people only." Tauzin said pharmaceutical companies are working to develop a code of conduct for DTC ads that will be an improvement upon federal legislation. Nancy Leone, a spokesperson for GSK, said it was "difficult to draw conclusions" about the study because Paxil was not marketed extensively during the study period. She said that doctors are not overly influenced by ads and that such "education campaigns" do not lead to inappropriate prescribing (Washington Post, 4/27).
  13. by   Sumatra
    Personally, I feel little sympathy when the drug companies cry about how they need high prices to finance R&D when I know that they spend as much on advertising as they do on development of drugs. Anyway, so many "new" drugs are just near copies of best sellers of rival companies.
  14. by   BeachNurse
    Lots of generalizations here. About the research study, aside from the JAMA/Wash.Post connections here (ironic), I would like to know what types of physicians were studied. Again it is still their responsibility to evaluate their patients thoroughly. Just as a drug company can skew data, so can anyone else to further their own agenda.

    I personally work with drugs companies, including Glaxo, and I am a coordinator for a couple of their studies. All of the drugs are life-saving ones, and ones that are not "almost identical" to those already out on the market. Let's see..do you ever see ads for drugs that treat rheumatoid arthritis or high cholesterol? I wonder if these can be faked by patients. If we did not develop new drugs, we would never get anywhere. Most competent and responsible physicians prescribe what is BEST for the patient and try to keep the costs low. I think it is a scary line we cross when we blame advertising for all of society's ills.

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