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Direct-to-Consumer Advertising and the Demand for Cholesterol-Reducing Drugs

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  • John E. Calfee
  • Clifford Winston
  • Randolph Stempski

Abstract

In August 1997, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reinterpreted its advertising regulations to ease limits on the use of broadcast media when advertising prescription drugs directly to consumers. We estimate the effect of direct-to-consumer advertising on demand, using 1995-2000 data from the market for the statin class of cholesterol-reducing drugs. We find no statistically significant effect from any form of advertising and promotion on new statin prescriptions or renewals and no evidence of adverse market effects from advertising or the FDA policy change. We did find evidence, however, that television advertising increased the proportion of cholesterol patients who had been successfully treated, which suggests that advertising reinforces compliance with drug therapy.

Suggested Citation

  • John E. Calfee & Clifford Winston & Randolph Stempski, 2002. "Direct-to-Consumer Advertising and the Demand for Cholesterol-Reducing Drugs," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 45(S2), pages 673-690.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:doi:10.1086/374704
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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. Lakdawalla, Darius & Sood, Neeraj & Gu, Qian, 2013. "Pharmaceutical advertising and Medicare Part D," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 1356-1367.
    3. Daysal, N. Meltem & Orsini, Chiara, 2012. "Spillover Effects of Drug Safety Warnings on Health Behavior," IZA Discussion Papers 6409, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Dhaval M. Dave, 2013. "Effects of Pharmaceutical Promotion: A Review and Assessment," NBER Working Papers 18830, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. John Cawley & John A. Rizzo, 2005. "The Competitive Effects of Drug Withdrawals," NBER Working Papers 11223, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Rosemary Avery & Donald Kenkel & Dean Lillard & Alan Mathios, 2007. "Regulating advertisements: the case of smoking cessation products," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 31(2), pages 185-208, April.
    7. W. David Bradford & Andrew N. Kleit & Paul J. Nietert & Steven Ornstein, 2010. "The Effect Of Direct To Consumer Television Advertising On The Timing Of Treatment," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 48(2), pages 306-322, April.
    8. Avery, Rosemary J. & Eisenberg, Matthew D. & Simon, Kosali I., 2012. "The impact of direct-to-consumer television and magazine advertising on antidepressant use," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 705-718.
    9. 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.
    10. Fang Hai & Rizzo John, 2011. "Does Patient Use of Medical Information Affect Physician Practice Incentives to Provide Care?," Forum for Health Economics & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 14(2), pages 1-22, March.
    11. Rosemary Avery & Donald Kenkel & Dean R. Lillard & Alan Mathios, 2006. "Private Profits and Public Health: Does Advertising Smoking Cessation Products Encourage Smokers to Quit?," NBER Working Papers 11938, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. W. David Bradford & Andrew N. Kleit, 2012. "Direct to Consumer Advertising for Pharmaceuticals: Research Amid the Controversy," Chapters,in: The Elgar Companion to Health Economics, Second Edition, chapter 31 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    13. Guy David & Sara Markowitz & Seth Richards-Shubik, 2010. "The Effects of Pharmaceutical Marketing and Promotion on Adverse Drug Events and Regulation," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 1-25, November.
    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. Stefan Stremersch & Vardit Landsman & Sriram Venkataraman, 2013. "The Relationship Between DTCA, Drug Requests, and Prescriptions: Uncovering Variation in Specialty and Space," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 32(1), pages 89-110, June.
    16. Jayawardhana, Jayani, 2013. "Direct-to-consumer advertising and consumer welfare," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 164-180.
    17. 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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