'See Your Doctor': The Impact of Direct-to-Consumer Advertising on Patients with Different Affliction Levels
22 Pages Posted: 10 Oct 2015 Last revised: 12 Mar 2020
Date Written: October 8, 2015
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 television ads.
Keywords: pharmaceuticals, consumer involvement, direct-to-consumer advertising, DTCA, medium, patient flow, health care
JEL Classification: I12, I18, D12
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation