Pharmaceutical companies spent more than $722 million on direct-to-consumer ads in the first half of 1998. Television ads accounted for 47% of total pharmaceutical direct-to-consumer ad expenditures, followed by magazine ads, which accounted for 42%. Just over $92 million was spent on direct-to-consumer prescription drug ads in July. The increase was driven by the launch of several new ad campaigns. Among the ads launched in the quarter were campaigns for Propecia, Merck's drug for male pattern baldness; Zomig, Zeneca's migraine drug; Aricept, Eisai's Alzheimer's drug; and Nasacort, Rhone-Poulenc Rorer's asthma drug.
COMMENT: If you have seen any of the above commercials, my guess is you are watching too much TV. Not only will you free up one of your most limited resources, time, by decreasing or stopping your TV viewing, but you will also minimize your exposure to drug and other ads by which you do not need to be influenced.