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Lonhala Magnair

Prescription Drug Advertisements Can Inform and Mislead Seniors

Researchers examined 15 seniors’ perceptions of nine television ads to understand how the ads might help consumers make informed decisions about prescription drugs.

The researchers concluded there was some potential for benefit from direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA), but there were also critical shortcomings of the current ad format.

They identified several ways in which advertisements could be improved to better facilitate informed decision making, such as inclusion of the importance of lifestyle changes in the ads, and legislative action to improve utility of DTCA.They also recommended comprehensive counseling by health care providers prior to prescribing new drugs to patients to clarify any misperceptions.

For more info, see Grenard, J.L. et al.  (2012). Seniors’ perceptions of prescription drug advertisements: A pilot study of the potential impact on informed decision making. Patient Education and Counseling, 85, 79-84.


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