Consumers ignore pharma risk warnings

David Bellm

March 11, 2015

2 Min Read
Consumers ignore pharma risk warnings
Pharma packaging

When it comes to risk disclosures made by drug companies in print and television ads, many consumers are not paying attention, according to a recent study by ORC Guideline.

The latest study in the company’s Under the Skin series found that 41% of US consumers pay little or no attention to risk information presented by pharmaceutical companies in their TV commercials, and only half (50%) pay attention to such disclosures in print ads. This lack of attention is most prevalent among those 55 years of age or older.

"A probable cause for this considerable lack of interest may be risk information overload," said Morris S. Whitcup, Ph.D. Chief Research Officer at ORC Guideline. "As consumers utilize a wide variety of sources to learn about prescription medications, it may not be optimal for the FDA to require that pharmaceutical companies include the same details in each of the channels they use to communicate information about their prescription drug products," he continued. "When we asked consumers specifically about their preferences for obtaining prescription drug risk information online, we learned that many would appreciate a truly condensed version of such disclosures, accompanied by links to obtain more detailed information."

Included among the ways in which consumers preferred to see prescription drug risk disclosures presented online were: direct links to an independent website such as WebMD (32%); having a condensed version of risk disclosures available a click away (27%); and a direct link to a pharmaceutical company (26%) or government website (25%) that provided the information.

This release includes the findings of an online survey conducted among a sample of 1,045 adults comprising 503 men and 542 women 18 years of age and older. Interviewing for this survey was completed on October 29-30, 2009.

SOURCE: ORC Guideline

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