Despite the growth of direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising of prescription drugs, little is known about consumers' preferences for drug information after exposure to such an ad. The objective of this research was to investigate the effects of patient age, self-perceived medication knowledge, and the context of exposure to direct-to-consumer prescription drug advertising on consumers' preferences for information about benefits, risks, and costs of prescription drugs. A mail survey sent to a random sample of 360 consumers was used to collect preferences for three types of drug information (benefit, risk, and cost of the drug) from six information sources (a physician, a pharmacist, a nurse, a family member or friend, a medical reference book, and the manufacturer of the product). The effects of age, medication knowledge, and context on consumer preferences were assessed using a MANOVA for each type of drug information. Any significant variables were analyzed further using univariate analysis. One hundred fifty responses were analyzed. Age and knowledge exerted significant effects on preferences for all three types of information. Context of exposure was not significant in any MANOVA. Overall, respondents reported the strongest preferences for seeking information about a drug seen in a DTC ad from physicians and pharmacists. As DTC advertising becomes more common, continued research on consumer reactions and responses is needed.
- Direct-to-consumer advertising
- Information search
- Prescription drug information