Status Quo and Suggestions to Enhance the Delivery of Independent Medication Information
Direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA) of prescription drugs has become a focus of public policy concern and academic research. Through it, pharmaceutical companies influence major parts of the health system, including the drug trials upon which DTCA is based. Advocates emphasize its potential in educating the public about health conditions and treatment options, but evidence supporting this argument is sparse. Critics highlight potential risks, such as encouraging the use of new drugs with unknown safety profiles—a view supported by some data. The literature is analyzed to characterize the data on approved drugs currently available on the market. Arguments for and against DTCA are given and an outline is presented of the current regulatory system in the United States, New Zealand, Canada, and Germany. Thereafter, appropriate ways of informing patients are discussed. Neither the central regulatory system in the United States nor the voluntary self-regulations in New Zealand and Canada have been able to ensure compliance with standards of acceptable advertising practice for DTCA. Therefore, the ban on DTCA in Europe is justified and should be maintained. To communicate the benefit-risk ratios of drugs to patients, evidence-based, independent, and neutral information is necessary and must be supported.
MIT Press Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.
To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.