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Re: E-DRUG: Direct-to-Consumer Advertising of Prescription Medicines

E-DRUG Direct-to-Consumer Advertising of Prescription Medicines (2)

an opinion only.
I'm a physician, clinical pharmacologist, continuously synthesizing,
evaluating and applying evidence mostly in the areas of therapeutics for
the government, medical groups, hospital, etc.
What strikes me about direct-to-consumer advertising is this:
At least 95% of what gets fed back to me by my patients on a near-daily
basis from magazines, US TV (Canada has not allowed nearly as much dtc
advertising as US), Internet, is biased information and rarely applies to
them directly. This leads to unnecessary concerns about useful drugs, and
misguided interest in drugs not indicated for them or contraindicated for
them or superceded by better drugs at less cost. Thus a large part of my
time is spent trying to counteract misinformation. Nonetheless, the
interest in health information by consumers is huge and the
medical/pharmacy profession has not done a good job of responding with
balanced, evidence-based info. On one hand, we have ourselves to blame. In
our defence, we do not have the millions of dollars to spend per year that
the industry has.
It would be very useful to look for some sort of study of the depth of
knowledge and understanding of consumers after they've been exposed to this
type of advertising.
Good luck with your writing, 
Anne Holbrook
Anne Holbrook,MD,PharmD, MSc,FRCPC
Centre for Evaluation of Medicines , St Joseph's Hospital,
Associate Professor, Dept. Medicine
McMaster University. Hamilton, ON, Canada
Phone 905-522-1155 ext 5269.   FAX 905-521-6136
e-mail: holbrook@mcmaster.ca

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