HEALTH AND DRUG ADVERTISING: 

How BRCTs can help distinguish fact from hypeclick me.

The New York Times published a story in February 2016 about drug advertising:   "Ask Your Doctor if This Ad Is Right for You:  How advertising promotes expensive drugs and treatments you may not need."  CLICK HERE for a link to the article.  In 2014 Pharmaceutical companies spent $4.8 billion on advertising, and this has been shown to impact which medicines and treatments patients seek.  Many such treatments have been shown to be expensive and unnecessary.  But clear and accurate information is lacking in the ads.

The AMA has been critical of direct consumer advertising, stating that it puts doctors in a precarious position.  Only the United States and New Zealand allows such advertising.  But if doctors and patients are well informed about the actual risks and benefits of the drugs and products being advertised, they will be in a much better position to engage in meaningful discussions about whether to take the medications.  Rather than fighting drug advertising, BRCTs can help doctors and patients navigate the messages disseminated by the ads.

 

At IHBR we are able to assess the data from advertisements and provide BRCTs about risk and benefits of any medicine that is being advertised.  As an example, we have provided data about Xarelto, a heavily advertised medicine for atrial fibrillation and blood clots.  CLICK HERE to see the Xarelto BRCT information.

 

The following are some of the drugs most heavily advertised in 2014 that can be better assessed with the use of BRCTs.  Many are very expensive, have much less costly alternatives, have minimal efficacy, and are potentially harmful.

 

·Crestor for cholesterol

·Xarelto, Pradaxa, and Eliquis for atrial fibrillation

·Cialis for erectile dysfunction

·Lyrica for chronic pain

·Abilify and Latuda for depression

·Jublia for toe nail fungus

·Xifaxin for irritable bowel syndrome

 

Talk to us about how we can help educate doctors and patients about these and other drugs to reduce overtreatment and enhance shared decision making.