Drug companies spent $1.53 billion on advertisements aimed directly at the US public in the 12-month period ending in March 1999. This represents a 16% increase in spending on ads aimed at raising product awareness among consumers.
The top spending brands for television included the antibalding agent Propecia ($101 million), the antihistamines Claritin ($99 million) and Zyrtec ($61 million), the smoking cessation agent Zyban ($51 million) and the herpes drug Valtrex ($39 million). For print ads, DTC ads were led by Claritin ($99.1 million), the impotence drug Viagra ($32 million), the hormone replacement therapy drug Premarin ($31 million), and the osteoporosis preventive drug Evista ($29 million).
Dr. Mercola's Comment:
Total spending directed at both consumers and doctors edged up to $6.14 billion through March, compared with an increase of $6.10 billion for the 12 months ending in December 1998. Now that you realize that drug sales reached 300 billion last year, spending over 6 billion dollars makes sense. That does not even factor in the hidden subsidies to researchers that make the national news and really are "free advertising" for the drug companies.
It is important to carefully analyze your use of any medication as it is highly likely the reason it is or was recommended to you is influenced by drug company propaganda money.