Public Responses to Direct-to-Consumer Advertising of Prescription Drugs

Sheng Yuan
Indiana University-Bloomington


In this article, the author has explored the factors that influence the effectiveness of direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising of prescription drugs. The study was based on a telephone interview with a nationally representative sample of 3,000 adults regarding their responses to DTC advertising. The results make significant contributions for both academic society and drug marketers.

First, by examining some variable relationships ignored by most other researchers, this article updates our knowledge about DTC advertising and improves models proposed in previous studies. For example, "exposure to DTC advertisement" and "trust in DTC advertisement" are two important components in the flow of DTC advertising procedure, but their mutual relationship has seldom been tested. This article examines and partly confirms this relationship, and thus advances the theoretical development of DTC advertising effectiveness models.