In a rare marketing pullback, drug makers slashed their spending on consumer advertising of prescription drugs by 8% last year, according to a story in the Wall Street Journal. It was the first pullback for big pharma since the early 1990s.
Drug makers cut their spending on consumer advertising of prescription drugs by 8% last year, according to a story in the Wall Street Journal.
Written by Keith J. Winstein and Suzanne Vranica, the story says such ads had surged since 1997, when the Food and Drug Administration relaxed restrictions on drug advertising to consumers. U.S. spending on drug ads hit a peak of $4.8 billion in 2007, up from less than $1 billion in 1997, but fell to $4.4 billion last year.
Market experts blame last year’s pullback on fewer new-drug introductions and heightened congressional scrutiny of drug marketing, the story says.
Critics say the ads, which are permitted in few other countries, inflate health-care costs by prompting patients to request brand-name medicines, rather than cheaper generics, the story says.
Print advertising for drugs fell 18%, while TV advertising shrank 4%, the story says.
WSJ Online subscribers may read the full story here.