'See Your Doctor': The Impact of Direct-to-Consumer Advertising on Patients with Different Affliction Levels

22 Pages Posted: 10 Oct 2015 Last revised: 29 Jun 2016

See all articles by Qiang Liu

Qiang Liu

Purdue University - Krannert School of Management

Hongju Liu

University of Connecticut

Manohar U. Kalwani

Purdue University

Date Written: October 8, 2015

Abstract

Pharmaceutical firms continue to advertise more and more prescription drugs directly to consumers, advocating them to discuss the focal health condition and the efficacy of the advertised drug with their physicians. In this paper, we investigate the effectiveness of such direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA) on different types of patients. Specifically, we examine the impact of DTCA on patients with different affliction levels and the effectiveness of television versus print ads as an influence on more severely versus mildly afflicted patients to visit their physicians. Briefly, using data from the erectile dysfunction category, we find that DTCA generates stronger response from new patients with severer versus milder afflictions. We also find that DTCA in print media generate stronger response from new patients with severer versus milder afflictions whereas DTCA on television are more effective for new patients with milder conditions. We discuss the implications of our findings for policy makers concerned with improving public health as well as for pharmaceutical firms seeking to target different types of patients through print versus TV ads.

Keywords: pharmaceuticals, consumer involvement, direct-to-consumer advertising, DTCA, medium, patient flow, health care

JEL Classification: I12, I18, D12

Suggested Citation

Liu, Qiang and Liu, Hongju and Kalwani, Manohar U., 'See Your Doctor': The Impact of Direct-to-Consumer Advertising on Patients with Different Affliction Levels (October 8, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2671610 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2671610

Qiang Liu (Contact Author)

Purdue University - Krannert School of Management ( email )

1310 Krannert Building
West Lafayette, IN 47907-1310
United States

Hongju Liu

University of Connecticut ( email )

2100 Hillside Rd, U-1041
Storrs, CT 06269-1063
United States

Manohar U. Kalwani

Purdue University ( email )

610 Purdue Mall
West Lafayette, IN 47907

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