Category Archives: DTC Canada Nasonex Vytorin Zetia Quebec Rueters Septemb

Mixed Messages: Do Those Expensive TV Drug Ads Work?

Apparently, not in Canada — where very little can be said, in such ads. There’s a Reuters story out tonight, suggesting that Schering’s Canadian Nasonex sales weren’t helped (much) by the Canadian version of permissable DTC advertising.

First, in Canada, there is far less payer-diversity (think almost single-payer) — so, there is far more centralized control over perscription reimbursment-levels, and more uniform protocols for disease management. Even more importantly, in Canada, while DTC ads may mention a drug’s name — the ads cannot mention which conditions or diseases the drugs are intended to treat. Here in the U.S., the conditions and diseases may be mentioned — as well as the use of vignettes with actors playing doctors.

And so, the part of the article that discusses Canada’s new study should, in truth, be limited to evaluating the Canadian experience — as the advertising regulations are so vastly different there, than the rules that govern our U.S. ads.

As to the Kaiser Family Foundation findings — here in the U.S. — consider this contervailing piece of (peer-reviewed, New England Journal of Medicine published) evidence [click to enlarge image]:

More background on it, here. . . . but it is worthy of note that only the U.S., Canada and New Zealand permit any DTC advertising — and thus we are in the distinct minority — allowing drug manuafacturers to (at least vicariously) enter the traditionally-private mix of discussions between a patient and his or her physician. . . .