Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News
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Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News
Pharmaguy curates and provides insights into selected drug industry news and issues.
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It’s DTC Hunting Season All Over Again! Where’s the Wabbit?

It’s DTC Hunting Season All Over Again! Where’s the Wabbit? | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

In an email message, Bob Ehrlich, Chairman of DTC Perspectives, wrote:

 

Every year I seem to need to rebut a critic of DTC who proposes a ban. Google DTC advertising and every month there will be call for a ban in the media. These DTC Hunters think that by making it extinct great things will happen. First, they believe prices for drugs would drop dramatically if only drug companies stopped buying expensive ads. Second, the DTC Hunters believe that by killing ads, doctors would prescribe what is best for patients without wasting time explaining the advertised drugs. Third, they believe that by keeping consumers unaware of new drugs, those good old fashioned generics would become more widely used thus lowering consumer and payer cost.

 

First let me admit drug ads are designed to sell more pills. The drug industry likes to say drug ads are meant to educate and they shy away from admitting they use DTC to increase sales. We all can agree that DTC is done only to grow the bottom line. So what? Prescription drugs are a good thing and promoting drug solutions should not embarrass drug companies. The Drug Hunters want to expose these evil folks for wanting to sell more of what they make.

 

So do DTC ads raise prices?

 

Cutting ad spending will not cause drug companies to lower prices. In fact, that money would be redirected to physician promotion or to some other promotion. Since DTC increases sales, one would have to think banning it would reduce sales. Would we expect drug makers to cut prices if they saw sales decline from withdrawing DTC ads? The answer is no.

Pharma Guy's insight:

“DTC Hunters!” I love it! Some “hunters” include the American Medical Association (http://sco.lt/4iRfrF) and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (http://sco.lt/6YI5wX).

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@BobEhrlich_DTC Predicts Politicians – Including Trump - Will Huff and Puff But Not Blow Down High Drug Prices

@BobEhrlich_DTC Predicts Politicians – Including Trump - Will Huff and Puff But Not Blow Down High Drug Prices | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Bob Ehrlich, Chairman of DTC Perspectives: I really have no way of knowing what will happen in health care, DTC spending or regulation. I do, however, have an informed opinion on where we might end up. So, for what it is worth here goes for 2017.

 

DTC will continue to thrive no matter what the politicians decry about greedy drug companies. We have the first amendment and DTC generally works well as a promotional strategy. True, Congress knows the drug industry is an easy target. They also know that drug marketing employs lots of people in their districts. So they will huff and puff but in the end not adopt any rules to make drug ads harder to execute.

 

Trump is a real wild card as far as drug pricing actions. He may threaten drug companies with Medicare price negotiation and actually mean it. On the other hand Trump knows that forcing prices down could hurt jobs and innovation. More likely he will arm twist drug CEOs to pricing self restraint and then tweet his victories.

 

[Some other pundits think more positively about Trump, at least for pharma advertising & marketing: “Industry Pundits Think Trump is Good for Pharma Advertising & Marketing”; http://sco.lt/72BxHV]

 

The FDA will get an overhaul to be faster decision makers on new drug approval and hopefully that will include the glacial moving OPDP. Nothing against the generally nice folks who work there but please try doing research that actually gets done in a timely fashion. Also, the social media train left years ago but OPDP cannot seem to accept consumers know how to easily one click to see warnings and risks.

 

Further Reading:

 

DTC media mix will continue its evolution towards social media and point of care, but nothing indicates that mass media will decline. Drug companies have better mass media targeting tools and that means getting more effectiveness. In fact more specialty brands are using television because the mass awareness, although inefficient, still brings in enough new customers that justify the expense.

 

Further Reading:

  • “Is DTC Drug Advertising Effective? More - & BETTER - Research is Necessary”; http://sco.lt/7afJmD
  • “Big Pharma Spending on TV Ads Like a Drunken Sailor”; http://sco.lt/8epI6z

 

Expect more drug company corporate media and DTC advertising efforts to justify drug prices. There are valid reasons for high prices in most cases, but Americans are perplexed why they pay more than other developed countries. It is a very tough sell but Americans are demanding to know what the premium price is getting them.

 

[Also, pharma marketers will have to be more creative in explaining the benefits of high-priced drug “21st Century Cures for Pharmaceutical Marketing”; http://sco.lt/4rDC65].

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