March 9, 2015
Ethical Issues In Pharmaceutical Business
Professor Joseph Fuhr
This chapter focused on the different ways pharmaceutical prescription drugs are promoted by companies as well as how they are regulated by the government. In 2003 alone prescription drug sales were $228.8 billion. Prior to the 1980’ promotion of prescription pharmaceutical representatives targeted drugs toward healthcare practitioners in the form of supportive detail aids. However, consumers became increasingly involved in the decisions and discussions concerning their health. This marked the era of direct to consumer advertising of prescription drugs. This reason was due to consumers becoming more informative of prescription drugs, which was beneficial to promote to consumers. A total of $25.6 billion was spent in 2003 for the promotion of prescription drugs, of that $22.4 billion or 87.5% was spent on promotion to healthcare professional, and $3.2 billion or 12.5% was spent on direct to consumer advertising.
Proponents of direct to consumer advertising say that it may increase awareness as well as reduce the stigma of seeking care. Another reason is that it may improve the adherence to medication therapy for chronic conditions. However, opponents of direct to consumer advertising claim that these ads are unlikely to benefit public health, however the spending has increased. One negative aspect about these advertisements is it can lead to inappropriate treatment of patients. Which means that the patient will have more adverse risk than increased health benefit. Second, patients who want these costly drugs can receive less costly therapies. Finally the third concern is that direct to consumer advertising will have a negative effect on the physician- patient relationship. The increased use of direct to consumer advertising has also changed the types of pharmaceutical products that are being introduced....
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