Pharmaceutical ads can significantly impact a patient’s confidence and proactivity in taking control of their health and wellness journey. The COVID-19 crisis that we’ve been facing over the past year has brought this issue into sharper focus, as healthcare and self-advocacy when it comes to pursuing treatment has become more vital than ever.

For this reason, DeepIntent created a consumer-focused survey that helped verify this premise. We surveyed 1,229 U.S. adults to understand how informed they feel by direct-to-consumer (DTC) pharmaceutical ads, including where they most commonly see these ads and how they impact their health and wellness journey.

We found a significant gap between patients and providers when it came to feeling informed and empowered to present treatment options. Some specific statistics that support this conclusion are:

  • Nearly 3 out of 4 respondents agree that more lives could be saved if patients were better informed about their pharmaceutical options.
  • 30% of respondents reported not feeling well informed about prescription drug options before talking with a medical professional.
  • While only 35% of survey respondents consider pharmaceutical advertising relevant to them, this finding demonstrates that advertisers have an opportunity to deliver information that’s pertinent to an individual’s health.
  • Other than speaking with a medical professional (53%), respondents say online web searches for a specific drug (46%) or a medical condition (45%) are their top sources for information.
  • 43% of Americans agree to some extent that pharmaceutical ads being beneficial to others makes them more bearable to watch.

These numbers pose the question: How can advertisers support the relationship between patients and their providers?

The data reinforces that advertising has a strong role to play in the public health domain. Patients even revealed they would be more likely to take a treatment recommendation from a doctor if it had been something they previously saw in an ad. So beyond impressions and brand awareness, there is a big opportunity here for advertisers to help educate patients before they take the next step to speak with their healthcare provider. Through this education, they can have a considerable impact on supporting this mutual relationship, which will ultimately improve patient lives.

  • Chris Paquette

    Chris Paquette serves as the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of DeepIntent. Chris draws upon his multifaceted technical, scientific, and entrepreneurial expertise to provide healthcare marketers with cutting-edge marketing technology solutions. He is also a part of the Forbes Technology Council, an invitation-only community for world-class CEOs, CIOs, CTOs, and technology executives.


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