Racial and ethnic disparities in response to direct-to-consumer advertising

Doohee Lee; Begley, Charles E.
July 2010
American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy;7/15/2010, Vol. 67 Issue 14, p1185
Academic Journal
Purpose. Racial and ethnic disparities in response to direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA) of pharmaceuticals were studied. Methods. Using national survey data of 2814 Americans, Hispanics and African Americans were compared to whites with respect to their exposure and response to DTCA. A 20-minute telephone survey collected basic demographic information from each respondent. Exposure to DTCA was measured by asking if individuals had seen or heard an advertisement for a prescription within the past 12 months. Those who had were asked about their responses to DTCA. Participants' perceptions of the role of DTCA were also examined. Six different variables were used to measure perceived health benefits of DTCA exposure. Exploratory analyses were performed to detect differences, and multivariate logistic regression was conducted to test whether race or ethnicity remained significant in explaining differences while controlling for other personal factors Results. Hispanics and African Americans were less likely than whites to be exposed to DTCA, more likely to be influenced by DTCA, and more positive about the health benefits of DTCA exposure. African Americans were also more likely to ask their physicians for a drug advertised via DTCA and have their request refused, which raises an issue about the impact of DTCA on provider-patient relationships. Conclusion. Hispanics and African Americans were less likely than whites to be exposed to DTCA, were more likely to be influenced by DTCA, and were more positive about the health benefits of DTCA exposure. African Americans were more likely to ask their physicians for an advertised drug and be refused.


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