The Graduate Review


Policy change in 1997 by the Food and Drug Administration made the United States only one of two countries to allow direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA). DTCA refers to the promotion of prescription medications through media directly to consumers as opposed to distribution of information only medical professionals. Supporters argue that DTCA educates consumers and helps them to make more informed decisions about their health care. On the other side, opponents argue that it leads to otherwise healthy people believing they are sick, thereby increasing profits for pharmaceutical companies. After reviewing the history of DTCA and literature demonstrating the pros and cons of the practice, the author makes recommendations about how policy can change to reflect the needs of consumer.

Note on the Author

Sally Kiss is in the Master’s of Social Work program at Bridgewater State University. Her interest in pharmaceutical advertising stems from her work in the mental health field, which she intends to pursue further upon graduating. Her research project was completed in Fall 2015 with the help of Dr. Kathleen Bailey.

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