Negative Impact of Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) Promotion on Indian Patients

Negative Impact of Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) Promotion on Indian Patients

Jayarani Pandey (Sikkim Manipal Institute of Technology, India), Manjushree Mishra (Sikkim Manipal Institute of Technology, India) and Ajeya Jha (Sikkim Manipal Institute of Technology, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6441-8.ch009
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Direct to consumer promotion of pharmaceutical product is considered illegal in many parts of the world. But today patients have direct access to all possible information on the Internet. This chapter was conducted to study the beliefs of physicians regarding the negative impact of online information on patient behaviour as is being felt by the physicians in India. Belief of physicians was measured on a Likert Scale. For this purpose, a sample of 218 physicians was drawn based on cluster sampling from different cities in India. Null hypothesis was that there is no negative impact of DITC promotions on certain patient behaviour. The hypothesis was tested using one sample t test. The chapter shows that according to Indian physicians, direct to consumer promotion has negatively impacted the process of patient behaviour and their relationships with the physicians.
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2. Review Of Literature

There is a great discussion that direct marketing of the prescription drugs can be both harmful as well as beneficial for the customers. Many studies has been conducted in this regard. At one side many researchers in USA consider it as a valuable source of information but there are many who argue that it is potentially harmful for the customers. Auton (2004) argue that DTC advertising enrich customers by providing information about health problems, treatment options and medical advances. Peytrot et al. (1998) O’Brien (2008 march) found that branded DTC ads which clearly address the patient’s need are very few. He also argues that patients are more involved in DTC and are willing to discuss it with physicians. Robinson (2004) stated that advertisement for a pharmaceutical product raises serious ethical concerns. They underrate risk, target the emotions of the patients and it is also adversely affecting the patient –physician relationship.(Adeoye and Bozic 2007). Scott Ehrlich found that Caduet, Crestor and Lipitor were among the few that used an on screen personality to deliver the risk information. Scott analysed that a closer look at broadcast DTC ads reveals that marketers are taking very different approaches to presenting details on risks and benefits. Christopher M. Schroeder outlined that Consumers are taking charge of their healthcare like never before. They are doing more research before a doctor visit, more closely monitoring their doctor’s recommendations and consulting with friends and family to validate their decisions. In India Jha (2005), reports that DTC is an important variable in pharmaceutical marketing.

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