UK Physicians Attitudes Towards Direct-to-Consumer Advertising of Prescription Drugs:
an Exploratory Analysis

Jon D. Reast
and
 Anna M. Carson
Leeds University Business School

INTRODUCTION

In a market worth $99.5 billion in 1998 (IMS Health, Inc, 1998), and growing at 11 per cent, a recent change to US legislation has given pharmaceutical brand owners the goahead to advertise prescription drugs directly to consumers in broadcast, print and electronic media (http://www.fda.gov, 1999). Within the $10.2 billion UK market (IMS Health, Inc, 1998), the legal framework only allows brand owners to operate a push promotional strategy, advertising to health professionals (e.g. physicians and pharmacists), and not directly to the general public. The only opportunity to address consumers directly comes via public relations activities.

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