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What Works in DTC Strategies

Executive Summary

In a comparison of direct-to-the-consumer advertising strategies, Health Resource found that compliance ad campaigns can be more cost-effective than switch campaigns.

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Big Pharma Continues to Rely on Marketing to Consumers

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.

When the Consumer Drives Demand

Empowered consumers are playing a more proactive role in almost all treatment decisions. For consumer-driven and lifestyle drugs, a fast-growing portion of pharma's portfolio, marketers still focus on physician detailing but must resist the temptation to rely only on physicians to interpret consumers' needs. Consumers have their own approach to evaluating the risks and rewards of a lifestyle-oriented drug. The fact that it outperforms placebo in clinical trials matters little: they expect it to be significantly better, and without unpleasant side effects. Companies must weigh these expectations early in the development process. Adjusting the paradigm where the physician is king is a major challenge. The perception that traditional detailing efforts generate the dollars, while consumer marketing only spends them, remains hard to change.

QUOTED. 8 August 2020. Ashley Wittorf.

AdvaMed Accell executive director Ashley Wittorf spoke in support of a proposed US House bill that would give financial help to small companies making products to address COVID-19.

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