The Great DTC Shake-Up: Patient perspectives on direct-to-consumer advertising

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March 7, 2017

In our ever-more patient-centric world, a key question arises – what do patients think about DTC? Health Perspectives Group, experts in patient engagement since 2002, partnered with eyeforpharma to answer this question in today’s changing environment. They contacted the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and secured permission to reuse and update the patient portion of an FDA study conducted in 1999 and 2002, looking at patient and physician attitudes toward DTC. Health Stories Project – Insights (HSPi), a division of the Health Perspectives Group, then undertook a survey of patient attitudes, results from which are published for the first time in this white paper.

The DTC Attitudes, Behaviors and Preferences survey takes its protocol from the earlier study and uses the FDA survey as a baseline, tracking how patient perspectives have evolved across nearly two decades. Eyeforpharma then spoke to senior thought leaders in the pharmaceutical industry to gain feedback on these patient insights and to ask how companies are adapting to the evolution of engaged patients.

The survey’s findings show that investment in DTC may be increasing but its effectiveness is decreasing. Pharma’s approach to DTC is also decoupled from patient needs, causing patients to disengage from traditional tactics and, in some cases, become actively hostile to the medium. As a result, pharma is not just failing to maximize the value from this increasingly expensive investment, the current approach to DTC is undermining industry efforts to re-position itself as patient-centric.

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