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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DTC advertising for prescription drugs is alive and well. Companies spent $2.16 billion through the end of October 2002--$216 million per month--a 4.4% increase over the monthly industry spend rate from 2001. In a year characterized by belt-tightening decisions, this step-up in spending reflects just how crucial it is for pharmaceuticals to steer consumers towards high-margin drugs.
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.
High-profile experts including Anthony Fauci and Adrian Hill share views at the ICMR symposium on progressing safe COVID-19 vaccines backed by ethical trials executed with appropriate scientific rigor. Human challenge studies, "vaccine nationalism" and equitable access were among the key issues deliberated, while India committed to making its coronavirus vaccines and related capabilities available to the world.