TV advertising doesn’t affect drug sales?

A recent study has concluded than drug advertisements on television have no effect on sales:

Drug advertisements aimed at consumers may not be having the effect on sales that opponents and proponents of the practice assume they do, a new study suggests.


The researchers found no evidence of a spike in sales for two of the drugs after the TV ads started to run. There was a marked increase in sales for a third drug but the effect was short-lived.

"I think that we’ve shown that the effects are pretty unimpressive for the three drugs we’ve looked at," said Harvard professor Stephen Soumerai, the senior author.

"Two out of three there isn’t an ounce of effect."

In Canada, before you can get a prescription you will need to get an appointment with a doctor, which can often take six days or longer. Then you may actually get a prescription, if that particular drug is approved to be used by the government. However, this would likely not have happened within the window of the study, so I’m not sure how accurate it would be.

But the funniest thing about the article was this comment:

And let’s not even talk about whether or not the average American consumer even has access to a doctor, let alone a bad doctor.

I’ve actually lived in both countries.I had a family physician within five minutes of my home about 40 minutes outside of Boston. And in the state of Massachusetts, nobody can be turned away from a hospital, regardless of ability to pay.

In Ontario, Canada, where I was born and raised, I do not have a family doctor, nor do 4.1 million Canadians. And good luck getting into a hospital here without either an OHIP or a Visa card.

It sounds to me that the average Canadian is the one with the problem.


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