Direct-to-consumer prescription drug advertising, 1989-1998: A content analysis of conditions, targets, inducements, and appeals

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

94 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

BACKGROUND - We conducted a content analysis of consumer-targeted prescription drug advertisements to explore trends in prevalence, shifts in the medical conditions for which drugs are promoted, reliance on financial and nonmonetary inducements, and appeals used to attract public interest. METHODS - We collected the drug advertisements appearing in 18 consumer magazines from 1989 through 1998. Two judges independently coded each advertisement and placed it in a category pertaining to the target audience, use of inducements, and product benefits (mean κ=0.93). We employed descriptive statistics, cross-tabulations, and curve estimation procedures. RESULTS - A total of 320 distinct advertisements were identified, representing 101 brands and 14 medical conditions. New advertisement and brand introductions increased dramatically during this decade. Advertisements for drugs used for dermatologic, human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS), and obstetric/gynecologic conditions were most common. Almost all of the advertisements were aimed at the potential user of the drug, not third-party intermediaries such as parents and spouses. Although most advertisements were gender-neutral, women were more likely to be exclusively targeted. One eighth of the advertisements offered a monetary incentive (eg, a rebate or money-back guarantee), and one third made an offer of additional information in printed or audio/video form. The most common appeals used were effectiveness, symptom control, innovativeness, and convenience. CONCLUSIONS - Consumer-directed prescription drug advertising has increased dramatically during the past decade. The pharmaceutical industry is turning to this type of advertising to generate interest in its products. Our data may be useful to physicians who want to stay abreast of the treatments that are being directly marketed to their patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)329-335
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Family Practice
Volume49
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2000

Fingerprint

Prescription Drugs
Pharmaceutical Preparations
Drug Industry
Drug Users
Spouses
Obstetrics
Motivation
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome
Parents
HIV
Physicians

Keywords

  • Advertising
  • Direct-to-consumer promotion [non-MESH]
  • Prescriptions, drug

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

@article{f030015b7c0d4a408dd27c3e26613be6,
title = "Direct-to-consumer prescription drug advertising, 1989-1998: A content analysis of conditions, targets, inducements, and appeals",
abstract = "BACKGROUND - We conducted a content analysis of consumer-targeted prescription drug advertisements to explore trends in prevalence, shifts in the medical conditions for which drugs are promoted, reliance on financial and nonmonetary inducements, and appeals used to attract public interest. METHODS - We collected the drug advertisements appearing in 18 consumer magazines from 1989 through 1998. Two judges independently coded each advertisement and placed it in a category pertaining to the target audience, use of inducements, and product benefits (mean κ=0.93). We employed descriptive statistics, cross-tabulations, and curve estimation procedures. RESULTS - A total of 320 distinct advertisements were identified, representing 101 brands and 14 medical conditions. New advertisement and brand introductions increased dramatically during this decade. Advertisements for drugs used for dermatologic, human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS), and obstetric/gynecologic conditions were most common. Almost all of the advertisements were aimed at the potential user of the drug, not third-party intermediaries such as parents and spouses. Although most advertisements were gender-neutral, women were more likely to be exclusively targeted. One eighth of the advertisements offered a monetary incentive (eg, a rebate or money-back guarantee), and one third made an offer of additional information in printed or audio/video form. The most common appeals used were effectiveness, symptom control, innovativeness, and convenience. CONCLUSIONS - Consumer-directed prescription drug advertising has increased dramatically during the past decade. The pharmaceutical industry is turning to this type of advertising to generate interest in its products. Our data may be useful to physicians who want to stay abreast of the treatments that are being directly marketed to their patients.",
keywords = "Advertising, Direct-to-consumer promotion [non-MESH], Prescriptions, drug",
author = "Bell, {Robert A} and Kravitz, {Richard L} and Wilkes, {Michael S}",
year = "2000",
month = "4",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "49",
pages = "329--335",
journal = "Journal of Family Practice",
issn = "0094-3509",
publisher = "Appleton-Century-Crofts",
number = "4",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Direct-to-consumer prescription drug advertising, 1989-1998

T2 - A content analysis of conditions, targets, inducements, and appeals

AU - Bell, Robert A

AU - Kravitz, Richard L

AU - Wilkes, Michael S

PY - 2000/4

Y1 - 2000/4

N2 - BACKGROUND - We conducted a content analysis of consumer-targeted prescription drug advertisements to explore trends in prevalence, shifts in the medical conditions for which drugs are promoted, reliance on financial and nonmonetary inducements, and appeals used to attract public interest. METHODS - We collected the drug advertisements appearing in 18 consumer magazines from 1989 through 1998. Two judges independently coded each advertisement and placed it in a category pertaining to the target audience, use of inducements, and product benefits (mean κ=0.93). We employed descriptive statistics, cross-tabulations, and curve estimation procedures. RESULTS - A total of 320 distinct advertisements were identified, representing 101 brands and 14 medical conditions. New advertisement and brand introductions increased dramatically during this decade. Advertisements for drugs used for dermatologic, human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS), and obstetric/gynecologic conditions were most common. Almost all of the advertisements were aimed at the potential user of the drug, not third-party intermediaries such as parents and spouses. Although most advertisements were gender-neutral, women were more likely to be exclusively targeted. One eighth of the advertisements offered a monetary incentive (eg, a rebate or money-back guarantee), and one third made an offer of additional information in printed or audio/video form. The most common appeals used were effectiveness, symptom control, innovativeness, and convenience. CONCLUSIONS - Consumer-directed prescription drug advertising has increased dramatically during the past decade. The pharmaceutical industry is turning to this type of advertising to generate interest in its products. Our data may be useful to physicians who want to stay abreast of the treatments that are being directly marketed to their patients.

AB - BACKGROUND - We conducted a content analysis of consumer-targeted prescription drug advertisements to explore trends in prevalence, shifts in the medical conditions for which drugs are promoted, reliance on financial and nonmonetary inducements, and appeals used to attract public interest. METHODS - We collected the drug advertisements appearing in 18 consumer magazines from 1989 through 1998. Two judges independently coded each advertisement and placed it in a category pertaining to the target audience, use of inducements, and product benefits (mean κ=0.93). We employed descriptive statistics, cross-tabulations, and curve estimation procedures. RESULTS - A total of 320 distinct advertisements were identified, representing 101 brands and 14 medical conditions. New advertisement and brand introductions increased dramatically during this decade. Advertisements for drugs used for dermatologic, human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS), and obstetric/gynecologic conditions were most common. Almost all of the advertisements were aimed at the potential user of the drug, not third-party intermediaries such as parents and spouses. Although most advertisements were gender-neutral, women were more likely to be exclusively targeted. One eighth of the advertisements offered a monetary incentive (eg, a rebate or money-back guarantee), and one third made an offer of additional information in printed or audio/video form. The most common appeals used were effectiveness, symptom control, innovativeness, and convenience. CONCLUSIONS - Consumer-directed prescription drug advertising has increased dramatically during the past decade. The pharmaceutical industry is turning to this type of advertising to generate interest in its products. Our data may be useful to physicians who want to stay abreast of the treatments that are being directly marketed to their patients.

KW - Advertising

KW - Direct-to-consumer promotion [non-MESH]

KW - Prescriptions, drug

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0033926707&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0033926707&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Article

C2 - 10778839

AN - SCOPUS:0033926707

VL - 49

SP - 329

EP - 335

JO - Journal of Family Practice

JF - Journal of Family Practice

SN - 0094-3509

IS - 4

ER -