No pharmaceutical topic causes as much passionate difference of opinions between industry and medical community representatives as the practice of direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA), with the likely exception being drug pricing. Despite criticisms and the heated debate on the appropriateness of this channel, DTCA spending continues to grow. The drug industry spent approximately $5.6 billion on DTCA in 2016 (excluding digital spending). However, companies cannot continue to engage in old practices. The pharma environment has radically changed, where demonstrating measures of drug value are critical to brand success.
This commentary reviews this hotly-debated pharmaceutical topic and provides pharmaceutical practitioners a non-exhaustive list of suggested strategic, tactical, and analytical steps brand teams should take to make TV DTCA more effective and efficient while mitigating concerns raised by industry critics and members of the healthcare community against running TV DTCA for specialty medicines.
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