The past, present, and future of direct-to-consumer prescription drug advertising

Clin Ther. 1999 Oct;21(10):1798-811; discussion 1797. doi: 10.1016/S0149-2918(99)80058-7.


Since the first experiences with direct-to-consumer (DTC) prescription drug advertising in the early 1980s, pharmaceutical marketers, government regulators, researchers, health practitioners, and consumers have been both perplexed and intrigued by this practice. As experience with DTC advertising has expanded, so has knowledge and understanding of its risks and rewards. This article discusses important issues in DTC advertising, such as the effects it may have on the patient-practitioner relationship, the diffusion and adoption of new drugs, prices, and competition. It also discusses the future of DTC advertising.

MeSH terms

  • Advertising*
  • Drug Industry*
  • Humans
  • Legislation, Drug
  • Patient Compliance
  • Physician-Patient Relations