In 2005, an article in Journal of Family Practice claimed that 83% of prescription drug print ads put focus on “patient-physician communication” and 76% “promoted dialogue with healthcare professionals”. To restate, the ads that we read in our favorite magazines help us start conversations with our doctors about our health issues and illnesses. Not only is this a great thought, but it means that these ads are doing us some good. Many argue and say that these ads are misleading or create a distrust between the drug companies and the consumer, but if the ads are starting a difficult conversation, then the consumer should not turn their backs on them.
In fact, 73% of doctors concluded that patients asked “thoughtful questions” because of DTC ads. These issues that these patients are addressing may not be that pressing or be of any real concern, but at least people are doing there best to learn all they can. And yes, the ads may be a little overly thorough, while they list off side effects that sound like a death wish that just simply are not true, I believe that I speak for the consumer when I say that when it comes to the side effects of a prescribed drug, I would much rather be over than under informed.
On the contrary – however – the Journal of General Internal Medicine conducted and published a study that clarified how “43% of the claims in DTC drug ads were “objectively true” while 55% were “potentially misleading” and 2% were “false.” “, but in the mind of the consumer, when in the market for medication, I would rather know too much and be safe rather than sorry.
To conclude, though these ads may contain false information and mislead the paying consumer to think the worst, these ads are meant to protect us and if embedding the studied effects among the pseudo effects helps the people stay informed, then by all means, these drugs must continue this practice.