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What Explains the Use of Direct-to-Consumer Advertising of Prescription Drugs?


  • Toshiaki Iizuka


Following the clarification of advertising regulation in 1997, direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA) of prescription drugs has skyrocketed in the U.S., creating a controversy over the role of DTCA. Little is known, however, regarding what affects firms' advertising decisions and which drugs have been advertised to consumers. Using brand-level advertising data, I examine the determinants of DTCA of prescription drugs. I find that drugs that are new, of high quality, and for under-treated diseases are more frequently advertised. Furthermore, advertising outlays decrease with competition. These results complement the demand-side evidence that DTCA has a market-expanding effect but little business-stealing effect. Copyright Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2004.

Suggested Citation

  • Toshiaki Iizuka, 2004. "What Explains the Use of Direct-to-Consumer Advertising of Prescription Drugs?," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(3), pages 349-379, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jindec:v:52:y:2004:i:3:p:349-379

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Amrita Bhattacharyya, 2005. "Advertising in Specialized Markets: Example from the US Pharmaceutical Industry," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 610, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 10 Nov 2005.
    2. de Frutos, Maria-Angeles & Ornaghi, Carmine & Siotis, Georges, 2013. "Competition in the pharmaceutical industry: How do quality differences shape advertising strategies?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 268-285.
    3. Toshiaki Iizuka & Ginger Zhe Jin, 2005. "Drug Advertising and Health Habit," NBER Working Papers 11770, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Brekke, Kurt R. & Kuhn, Michael, 2006. "Direct to consumer advertising in pharmaceutical markets," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 102-130, January.
    5. Dhaval M. Dave, 2013. "Effects of Pharmaceutical Promotion: A Review and Assessment," NBER Working Papers 18830, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Toshiaki Iizuka, 2009. "Generic Entry In A Regulated Pharmaceutical Market," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 60(1), pages 63-81.
    7. repec:wly:hlthec:v:26:y:2017:i:4:p:450-468 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Regan, Tracy L., 2008. "Generic entry, price competition, and market segmentation in the prescription drug market," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 930-948, July.
    9. Suppliet, Moritz, 2017. "Umbrella Branding in Pharmaceutical Markets," Discussion Paper 2017-034, Tilburg University, Tilburg Law and Economic Center.
    10. Matthew Ryan & Rhema Vaithianathan, 2015. "The Regulation of Direct-to-Consumer Advertising of Pharmaceuticals in a Managed Care Setting," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 17(6), pages 986-1021, December.
    11. Anusua Datta & Dhaval Dave, 2017. "Effects of Physician‐directed Pharmaceutical Promotion on Prescription Behaviors: Longitudinal Evidence," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(4), pages 450-468, April.
    12. Simon P. Anderson, 2005. "Regulation of Television advertising," Virginia Economics Online Papers 363, University of Virginia, Department of Economics.
    13. repec:eee:touman:v:57:y:2016:i:c:p:323-333 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Guy David & Sara Markowitz, 2011. "Side Effects of Competition: the Role of Advertising and Promotion in Pharmaceutical Markets," NBER Working Papers 17162, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Hosken, Daniel & Wendling, Brett, 2013. "Informing the uninformed: How drug advertising affects check-up visits," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 181-194.
    16. Fee, C. Edward & Hadlock, Charles J. & Pierce, Joshua R., 2012. "What happens in acquisitions?," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 584-597.
    17. Jayawardhana, Jayani, 2013. "Direct-to-consumer advertising and consumer welfare," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 164-180.
    18. Patricia M. Danzon & Eric L. Keuffel, 2014. "Regulation of the Pharmaceutical-Biotechnology Industry," NBER Chapters,in: Economic Regulation and Its Reform: What Have We Learned?, pages 407-484 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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