It's well documented that the American Medical Association isn't a huge fan of direct-to-consumer advertising for pharmaceuticals and devices (read “AMA Calls for a Ban on Direct-to-Consumer Drug Ads”; http://sco.lt/4iRfrF). Individual doctors, however, have been far less vocal about their feelings toward DTC. Do they believe that the ads help educate patients? Do they derive any benefits themselves, in terms of awareness or anything else, from the ads?
We had SERMO, a social network for physicians, ask them. In response to the question, “Do you believe DTC drug advertisements primarily (1) are helpful to doctor–patient communications and educate patients or (2) make doctor–patient communications more difficult and do not provide valuable educational content to patients,” 21% (353 doctors) said the former and 79% (1,343 doctors) said the latter.
We've synthesized their comments here, preceded by the physician's area of specialty.