Pharmaceutical Pricing Practices, Utilization and Costs - Meeting Summary. 2. FDA's Research About Consumer-Directed Prescription Drug Promotion--Nancy Ostrove, Ph.D.


Dr. Ostrove explained that FDA regulates the content of prescription drug ads. No Federal law or regulations have ever prohibited the advertising of prescription drugs. In the spring of 1999, FDA conducted a national survey of adults to assess the effects of FDA guidance pertaining to prescription drug ads issued in 1997 and the effects of direct-to-consumer (DTC) promotion of prescription drugs. About three-fourths of the adult respondents had seen a DTC ad for a prescription drug in the last 3 months, either on television or in a magazine. More than three-fourths of the respondents who had seen a DTC ad recalled the product's benefits, risks/side effects, who should not take the drug, and who should take the drug. Seeing product advertising was associated with an increased likelihood of asking a physician about whether there is a drug to treat the patient's condition and a specific brand. Survey respondents reported that their doctors were positive about their asking about a specific brand-name prescription drug.