Consumers' experience with and attitudes toward direct-to-consumer prescription drug promotion: a nationally representative survey

Health Mark Q. Jan-Mar 2021;38(1):1-11. doi: 10.1080/07359683.2021.1947067. Epub 2021 Jul 9.


The way consumers get and seek health information reflects the current information landscape. To gather updated insights on consumer experiences with and attitudes towards direct-to-consumer (DTC) promotion of prescription drugs, we conducted a nationally representative survey of 1,744 US adults using a mail-push-to-web methodology with paper nonresponse follow-up. Results showed high exposure and indifferent attitudes to DTC promotion. Respondents reported DTC promotion has prompted action, particularly searches for more information, increased use of online resources, and some reported that they refused to take or stopped taking a prescription drug because they saw or heard about the drug's side effects.

Keywords: prescription drugs; Direct-to-consumer; advertising; attitudes; behavior; exposure.