On The Pulse: Trends & Surveys In the Healthcare Industry

DTC Ads Redefine Doctor-Patient Relationships Encouraging consumers to become advocates of their own healthcare, Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) ads are impacting the relationships among patients with physicians, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and healthcare payers, according to a newstudy by Scott-Levin, a Newton, Pa.-based healthcare consulting firm. The Direct-to-Consumer Advertising: 1996 study, based on responses from 5,000 physicians representing 14 specialties, 5,000 consumers, and phone interviews with HMO pharmacy directors, found that today's consumers are more proactive about their healthcare decision than ever before. According to the study: Patients who request advertised drugs influence the care of others who don't request a particular medicine, according to a third of the physicians surveyed.13 percent of doctors said they were "very likely" to prescribe a requested drug, with 19 percent likely to concur.

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