(HealthDay)—The U.S. Food and Drug Administration plans to conduct a new survey involving 2,000 health care professionals to examine their views on direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising of prescription medications. The survey has been approved by the White House Office of Management and Budget.
A recent survey, conducted by CMI/Compass and involving 140 physicians, indicates that approximately 70 percent of doctors believe DTC advertising should be scaled back or eliminated. However, 48 percent of physicians agree or somewhat agree that DTC advertising informs, educates, and empowers patients; 68 percent agree or somewhat agree that DTC advertising encourages patients to contact a doctor. Furthermore, 52 percent of doctors believe DTC advertising removes the stigma linked with certain conditions.
The FDA survey will be conducted among 2,000 health care professionals, including 500 general practitioners, 500 specialists, 500 nurse practitioners, and 500 physician assistants. Due to inclusion of non-physicians, the outcome is likely to vary, but the survey will not be completed until March 2015.
Based on the CMI/Compass survey, "65 percent says DTC ads lead to inappropriate prescribing; 51 percent agree the ads waste appointment time; 65 [percent] believe DTC advertising is not 'rigorously regulated;' and 78 [percent] agree that DTC advertising, ultimately, increases the cost of health care."