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10th Annual National Survey On Consumer Reaction To DTC Pharmaceutical Advertising Reveals #1 Action Taken After Seeing DTC Ad:

NEW YORK, May 16, 2007 – The #1 action taken by consumers after seeing a DTC ad is information seeking—before, during and even after a prescription is filled—not rushing to the doctor’s office to request the medication as sometimes popularly thought, according to results of the 10th annual national survey on Consumer Reaction to DTC Advertising of Prescription Medicines.

Conducted by Prevention, Men’s Health and Women’s Health magazines, with technical assistance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Division of Drug Marketing, Advertising, and Communication (FDA-DDMAC), the survey is one of the primary consumer
studies that informs the FDA’s stance on DTC  issues. The results were released today at a presentation to more than 200 pharmaceutical executives and industry leaders at the W Hotel.

Said Cary Silvers, Director of Consumer and Advertising Trends at Rodale, who spearheaded this year’s survey, “After 10 years of study, the bottom line on DTC: Consumers do listen to and seek out communications that help them get well or feel better, despite their skepticism of messages from pharmaceutical companies. The end result is only positive. The more consumers know, the more likely they are to have conversations with their doctors.”

Today’s event has become an annual forum on DTC advertising, illustrating the need for and interest in an understanding of the complex DTC market. Also presenting were Christine Smith, Group Leader for DTC Group 1 at the FDA, and Lori Reilly, Vice President for Policy and Research, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA).

Said Bob Ziltz, VP/Publisher of Prevention, “The study finds that as much as DTC has changed since 1997, so has the consumer who now has access to ‘on demand health’ information through the Internet. This has only enabled more consumers to be more empowered to find
health solutions than ever before.”

Other key findings from the 10th annual survey on Consumer Reaction to DTC Advertising of Prescription Medicines:

• Most consumers (68%) claim they know a lot about their medical condition or illness, the benefits of the prescription medicines they take (67%), and the risks (59%). (Compare this to only 2% of consumers claiming they are knowledgeable about investing [Yankelovich Monitor 2006].) Consumers who claim to be knowledgeable are also more likely to talk to their doctor about an advertised drug.

• Even after a prescription is filled, the majority of consumers (75%) are still looking for information about their medications. Twenty-nine percent of these consumers find themselves stopping to read/watch an advertisement.

• More consumers agree or somewhat agree (73%) that DTC ads allow people to be more involved with their healthcare.

• Increasingly, consumers want to know more than the risks and benefits of the medicines they are taking. The also want to know how the medicine’s effectiveness compares to other medicines – 61% vs. 46% in 2005; how the medicine treats their condition—76% vs. 70% last year; and how it interacts with other medicines—66% vs. 57% last year.

• A small amount of consumers (8%) are stimulated to ask their doctor for a specific medication after seeing a DTC ad.

• A little more than half of consumers (56%) are currently taking a prescription drug. Ten years ago, 47% of consumers were.

• Among the 36% of consumers who remember seeing any disease awareness ad, half (52%) say they have either talked with their doctor, a friend or family member or searched for additional information online.

Prepared by Princeton Survey Research Associates International, March 2007
Telephone interviews were conducted with a nationally representative sample of 1,503 adults living in the continental United States from March 3 -20, 2007. Statistical results are weighted to correct known demographic discrepancies. The margin of sampling error for the complete set of weighted data is ±3%.

Karen Mazzotta
Angelica De Las Salas
Allison Falkenberry
Men’s Health
Sandy Drayton
Women’s Health

About Rodale Inc. (
Rodale Inc. is the authoritative source for trusted content in health, fitness and wellness worldwide, reaching more than 70 million people globally. The company publishes some of the best-known health and wellness lifestyle magazines, including Men's Health, Prevention, Women's Health, Runner's World, Best Life, Bicycling, Mountain Bike, Running Times and Organic Gardening, and is also the largest independent book publisher in America with a collection of international titles, including The South Beach Diet and The Abs Diet franchises, and Al Gore’s New York Times bestseller An Inconvenient Truth. Rodale's broad range of media platforms includes magazines, books, videos and extensive Web sites. The company is also a leader in direct-response marketing and has more than 26 million active customers in its database.

Contact: Karen Mazzotta, 212-808-1660,

Posted: May 2007