Direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA) of healthcare products refers to
a variety of marketing practices based on a combination of information and
promotion strategies directed at consumers through different media such as
radio and television broadcasts, newspaper and magazine ads, and, more
recently, through the Internet. The principal form of marketing used by
the pharmaceutical industry is the distribution of free samples to
physicians but DTCA is an increasing part of global promotional spending
for prescription drugs. Latest estimates suggest that DTCA now represents
an annual $3.2 billion enterprise for the U.S. pharmaceutical industry.
Findings from the literature show that these substantial efforts are
geared toward the newer pharmaceuticals for chronic conditions with huge
market potentials. The lion's share is going to the 20 most
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