Informational Report Pros and Cons of Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) Advertising

InformationalReport: Pros and Cons of Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) Advertising

InformationalReport: Pros and Cons of Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) Advertising

Asrequested, the paper provides a summary of the pros and cons ofdirect-to-consumer (DTC) advertising. DTC has significantly developedovertime, especially in the pharmaceutical industry. The DTC conceptis presented with benefits as well as challenges in the healthindustry. However, it is true that these pharmaceutical companieshave not directly benefited from advertising. While the parliamentprepares to table debate on the health-protection legislation, Itherefore propose that pharmaceutical companies be allowed directlyadvertise to the consumers. The report is valuable since it providesinsights and shade light on the importance of advertising in thepharmaceutical industry. The report was compiled by use of practicalresearch, which involved surveys, interviews, and observations fromone pharmaceutical company to another. Topics to be discussed includethe pros, cons, and the summary of DTC advertising.

Articles’Summary in favor of DTC Advertising

LeeVentola, the author of the article “Direct-to-ConsumerPharmaceutical Advertising: Therapeutic or toxic?”is a consultant and a medical writer involved majorly with consumerpharmaceutical products. Ventola (2011) observes that DTC advertisingallows provision of information that empowers patients to controltheir health by making good choices. DTC advertising providesemployees with consumers’ information on treatment and drugsavailable, without having to make decisions based on healthcareproviders. The Kaiser Family Foundation on the article, “Impactof Direct-to-Consumer Advertising on Prescription Drug Spending”,is a website that provides intensive information on important healthpolicies. The Kaiser Family Foundation (2003) provides an approachthat supports the healthcare reforms, which increases access to thehealthcare. Direct advertising also helps encourage improvedinteraction and engagement between the clinicians and the patients.Ventola (2011) suggests that over 27% of the Americans makeappointments with the exposure to DTC advertising.

Articles’Summary against DTC Advertising

Disadvantagesof DTC advertising involves misinformation to the patients, whichleads to delivery of poor health services. Those pharmaceuticalcompanies that use DTC advertising, which tends to omit essentialinformation on the patient’s health. In Ventola’s (2011) article,the author suggests that the patients’ sufficient knowledge, whichmay end up making wrong healthcare choices. Again, anotherdisadvantage to DTC advertising results in increased government totalspending, according to The Kaiser Family Foundation (2003).Additionally, these pharmaceutical companies focus more on theinformation, which discourages patients to use their prescribeddrugs. The patients may also misdiagnose themselves as a result oflack of enough misinformed choices of their health.


AlthoughDTC advertisements have their own disadvantages, it is clear thatthey also give significant benefits that transform healthcareservices. By advertising directly to customers, pharmaceuticalcompanies provoke dialogue and provide information that encouragespatients to take charge of their health. The problem ofmisinformation can be tackled by regulating the information providedby pharmaceutical companies through DTC advertisements. This willmaximize the benefits and minimize the risks of DTC advertisement,leading to improved healthcare services in public health.Additionally, the patients are likely to be misinformed, especiallywith regard to misdiagnosis, which not only puts their lives at risk,but also discourages others to the use of prescribed drugs.


TheKaiser Family Foundation (2003). Impactof Direct-to-Consumer Advertising on Prescription Drug Spending.Washington: The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Retrieved from

Ventola,C. L. (2011). Direct-to-ConsumerPharmaceutical Advertising: Therapeutic or Toxic?Pharmacy and Therapeutics, 36(10), 669–684. Retrieved from