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The Truth About the Drug Ads
Calfee examines growing Congressional criticism of direct–to–consumer prescription drug advertising and finds that the critics consistently underestimate the benefits of DTCA.
The real question is how DTCA affects patient care. Here, a key point is that a lot of DTCA focuses exactly where you would expect: on underused drugs for under–treated or even under–diagnosed conditions. This creates the potential for DTCA to accomplish a lot of good. In the only published experiment on the effects of DTCA, Richard Kravitz and several co–authors found that seriously depressed patients were much more likely to receive recommended treatments (drugs, therapy, follow–up visits) if they asked about advertised drugs.
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