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E-DRUG: E-DRUG Direct to Consumer Advertising

E-DRUG Direct to Consumer Advertising

I have many reservations about direct to customer advertising.  Two
in particular worry me.  
First, if the objective of the advertisment was to promote informed
consent and/or informed choice I would disagree with DTCA.  The
average customer is not qualified to make these choices and it would be
unethical to create the impression amongst the consumer public that
after reading an advertisement they would be able to do so. 
The criteria for choice are beyond the understanding of the average person.
Second, drugs are dangerous and it is unlikely that any distributor 
would be discouraging consumers from taking certain drugs.  Why waste 
limited marketing budgets targeting people who shouldn't use your 
drugs? In other words, the DTCA objective is probably to increase 
consumption rather than safe and effective use.
Of course, this all assumes that prescribers are immune to the 
advertising messages and totaly commited to the quality use of drugs.

Billy Futter
Associate Professor: Pharmacy Administration and Practice
School of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa 6140
Voice +27 46-603-8494
fax   +27 46-603-8205

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