Drug company spending on direct-to-consumer advertising is soaring and could reach $10 billion, or as much as 30% of all promotional spending, by 2005, if current trends continue. But some powerful groups, most notably, doctors, pharmacists and managed care organizations, have begun to express their concern, worried that such advertising inappropriately influences patient prescribing.
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While pharmaceutical companies have begun to explore the blow-out potential of a direct to consumer appeal in quality of life issues, medical device firms have sat on the sidelines. They've targeted seriously ill patients on the outer fringes of conditions like obesity and erectile dysfunction, but as of yet, haven't really gone after the huge central market.
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