Direct-to-consumer advertising -- which includes TV, radio, print and
outdoor -- is a good buy for drug companies and an "important factor" in the
increase in the price of prescription drugs, although not the primary factor.
Those are some of the conclusions of a new Kaiser Family Foundation study by
Harvard University researchers.
The study found that of the money spent by drug companies on marketing, 86%
went to non-DTC promotions, including 55% for free drug samples and 29% for
sales-representative activities, including office visits.
DTC accounted for only 14% of promotional spending.
DTC appeared to be money well spent for advertisers, though, generating an
additional $4.20 in sales for every $1 spent, the study found.