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Tracking the Drug Facts Box

The pharmaceutical industry spent over $5 billion on direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising for prescription drugs in 2007—over half the entire U.S. Food and Drug Administration's budget for that year, according to a study by DMS physician-researchers Lisa Schwartz, Steven Woloshin, and H. Gilbert Welch. According to another study, average American television viewers spend more time watching DTC ads—up to 16 hours per year, or two and half minutes per day—than they spend with their primary care physician. The ads are full of information about risk factors and side effects, but they include little data on how well a drug works, say Schwartz, Woloshin, and Welch. Read More...


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Note: The names of the drugs in the following examples are made up, but the data is real.


A list of some of the many articles about direct-to-consumer advertising for prescription drugs and communicating health statistics to the public:

See all for this issue.

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