The Impact of Pharma’s Consumer Advertising Spend on Patient-Physician Interactions

According to Kantar Media: “Consumer ad spending by drug makers in 2015 reached $6.09 billion … after $5.12 billion was spent in 2014 and $4.29 billion was spent in 2013. These totals include spending on branded prescription drug ads plus unbranded ads by drug companies promoting awareness of a health condition and directing consumers to get more information, usually leading them to a company website where the prescription drug is offered as a treatment option” (read “Pharma Drug Ads: A Glass Half Empty is a Glass Half Full”). These numbers differ from the direct-to-consumer (DTC) ad spend data reported previously by Kantar Media (read “Annual Spending on Direct-to-Consumer Drug Advertising Ties an All-Time High”). The chart at the left shows the updated data. Kantar Media’s CRO, Jon Swallen, noted that all the Kantar Media reports I’ve referenced included branded plus unbranded DTC. “The difference in spending estimates are attributable to (1) slight differences in the universe of media outlets that were tabulated; and, (2) updates to historical ad pricing and spending data that were received after publication of the earlier report.” In any case, Kantar Media also presented some interesting data regarding the yearly trend in the number of Rx drugs with $500,000+ in annual ad spend as well as physician and consumer attitudes toward DTC advertising.

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