Direct-to-Consumer Advertising of Drugs


I wanted to further look into the direct-to-consumer advertising of drugs that is present in America, as we learned in class we are one of two nations that allows this kind of advertising the other being New Zealand. I found it kind of strange that this is something that was illegal in so many other countries but not the US. It just seems like an issue that is under a lot of scrutiny right now but due to the backing of pharmaceutical companies on politicians it may be something that doesn’t change. This type of advertising was even illegal in the US until 1985 and looking at the World Health Organization it is something that over the years is now getting a lot of bad rep. Many saying that it is not used to inform the public in any way just to persuade. Which in reality makes sense because its an advertisement, its going to persuade you to buy or do something. But that doesn’t always mean that it is right. Some surveys done in the United States and in New Zealand found that more often then not if someone goes to the doctor and asks for a specific drug, they receive that drug. This I found very interesting and kind of troubling because does this mean that people can essential prescribe their own medication without any extensive knowledge of the medical field and what specific drug that would work best for them. This problem seems to be becoming worse and worse that many link back to direct-to-consumer advertising of drugs, the advertisement being extremely uninformative and not providing the public with the information they need to make an informed decision on something as crucial to their health as medication. The type of medication that someone is talking should not be part of a persuasion on behalf of a pharmaceutical company, it should be something that a patient and a doctor discuss. Deciding based on what would be the in the best interest for this individual patient and not the masses. This type of adverting may even be linked to the increase prices of drugs over the years.

-Cori Wolfe



6 thoughts on “Direct-to-Consumer Advertising of Drugs

  1. I totally agree with you. Sometimes the symptoms the person might be feeling may not be linked to that particular disease they are targeting to. The symptoms might be similar but she might need further testing to confirm her condition. Like some eating disorders. She might want that particular drug advertised thinking that she has the same condition. Using that drug might worsen her condition or not treat her at all! I feel that people should go to the doctor and get tested and talk with the doctor before becoming certain that they want a paticular drug to treat their condition. DTC commercials can be highly misleading sometimes. Especially because they have medicalized so many conditions now. I really liked your post! I feel it’s a powerful post.


  2. I agree! There may be a better medication out there for the patient, but if they are persistent about the one that they saw on TV and do not get the full opinion of the doctor, they could be missing out. I definitely believe that this type of advertising causes a price increase. Advertising costs a lot of money and these DTC ads are often played during popular shows and sporting events, costing even more. Although the ads increase income for the company, I believe that the companies take this popularity as a chance to increase their own income.

    -Courtney Snyder


  3. I agree, but I have a suspicion that doctors also may not know all kinds of various drugs or does not like to give new drugs. I still have that suspicion, so I might ask for a specific kind of drugs.


  4. I agree with this post. Direct to consumer advertising is harmful in a lot of ways. A person is likely to remember the name of a drug they saw on TV when talking to a doctor, even if that drug isn’t the best option. And has anyone else ever noticed that the side effects listed in some drugs are ridiculous and sometimes worse than just not taking the drug at all? Anti-depressants side effects, usually with happy music in the background, are listed like: “May cause suicidal thoughts. Talk to your doctor if your depression worsens.” But a lot of the time we tune out as soon as the side effects are listed and we end up with not enough knowledge about a drug or other drugs available in order to make a good decision.

    Katie Clontz


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