The US Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) Advertising in Pharmaceuticals to Reach US$11.4 Billion by 2017, According to a New Report by Global Industry Analysts, Inc.

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GIA announces the release of a comprehensive US report on Direct-To- Consumer (DTC) Advertising in Pharmaceuticals. The US market for direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising in pharmaceuticals is forecast to reach US$11.4 billion by the year 2017. Major factors driving growth in the market include new drug launches, increasing returns from advertising drugs, patent expiry of drugs and looming threat of generics, emergence of novel media channels, and growing use of Internet as a media for communication and information.

Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) Advertising in Pharmaceuticals: A US Market Report

Follow us on LinkedIn - Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) Advertising of drugs has been a topic of huge debate for several years. DTC advertising in pharmaceutical promotion is currently approved in only two countries worldwide – the US and New Zealand. However, the area has been laced with huge controversy even in these two countries. While pharmaceutical companies are fully in support of DTC advertising, certain consumer groups and government representatives among others loathe the very approval of such a practice. A major concern that revolves around DTC advertising of drugs is its potential negative influence on prescribing practices. Additionally, expenditure on such advertising also remains a key concern that can have a negative effect on pricing of the drugs, and in turn on the overall healthcare spending. DTC advertising often entices patients to demand for a specific advertised medicine during physician visits, an outcome that many opponents to DTC advertising highlight.

The Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) advertising in pharmaceuticals in the US continues to struggle, with spending declining since 2007-2010, excepting in 2009 when the industry witnessed a moderate growth in DTC ad spending. Major factors that led to this decline include economic downturn, ambiguous regulatory environment, and lesser new drug launches among others. The industry continues to face strong opposition from various quarters, which in turn is driving the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to tighten the noose over advertisers of pharmaceutical products. Although DTC is not expected to face a complete ban in the country in the following years, continued pressure on the regulatory authorities is expected to result in tighter regulations on DTC advertising in the foreseeable future.

Despite all the surrounding controversies, DTC advertising in the US has been a thriving market for several years. However, the past few years have been a roller-coaster ride for DTC pharmaceutical advertising in the US. DTC ad spending for pharmaceuticals reached its peak in 2006, following which spending dipped for two consecutive years. The year 2009 came as a respite to the industry, with DTC ad spending increasing after two consecutive years of decline. Increase in ad campaigns for new drugs as well as those in late stages of their life cycle favored DTC ad spending in 2009. However, the growth was trivial and spending during the year remained far from its peak in 2006. Direct-to-consumer advertising is persistently under scrutiny from the government, seeking to identify fraudulent advertisements in the healthcare sector. However, faltering healthcare reforms is expected to put drug manufacturers at the receiving end for cost control, and even blamed for spiraling healthcare costs. Notwithstanding the pressure, DTC advertising is expected to witness sizeable growth in the following years, as regulations governing the execution of print and broadcasting advertising are only expected to become more stringent and do not completely prohibit the use of these popular media outlets.

Television represents the largest media channel for Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) ad spending in pharmaceuticals in the US, as stated by the new market research report on Direct To Consumer (DTC) Advertising In Pharmaceuticals. Trailing Television is the Print Media, which includes magazines and newspapers, as the second largest media channel for DTC ad spending in pharmaceuticals.

On the other hand, Internet Advertising represents the fastest growing media channel for pharmaceuticals. With respect to the allocation of DTC dollars, the industry continues to largely invest in promoting drugs used in treating diseases with high prevalence rates. Besides, DTC spending is also more skewed towards newly launched drugs and drugs that are approaching patent expiration. DTC ad spending is higher in therapeutic categories, such as cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases, and central nervous system disorders. Spending is also substantial for products addressing various conditions in men and women.

A major drawback for information conveyed through mass media, such as television and print media, is that it is not fully ‘personal’. However, digital capabilities enable to create marketing platform that is both personal and mass-oriented. Digital capabilities enable advertisers to access the same viewer base and compel the viewers to opt-in for viewing the content, which could pre-qualify the viewers for the advertisement. This way, the implied wastage of a pharmaceutical campaign is eliminated, due to linking with specific content that could expand consumer interest. Historically, pharmaceutical companies have been largely cautious in making huge investments in digital media as an outlet for their promotional activity, much like the way seen in many other sectors. Much of this dillydallying is a result of two main factors – lack of FDA regulations for Internet pharmaceutical promotion, and lack of corporate support. However, this outlet is gaining considerable attention and investments are rapidly increasing, which is expected to increase further when the FDA clears the mist.

Major players profiled in the report include Pfizer Inc., AstraZeneca, Eli Lilly, Merck & Co. Inc., GlaxoSmithKline, Otsuka America Pharmaceutical Inc., Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH, Sanofi-Aventis, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Allergan Inc., Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals Inc., among others.

The research report titled “Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) Advertising in Pharmaceuticals: A US Market Report” announced by Global Industry Analysts Inc., provides a comprehensive review of the Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) Advertising Scenario in the US market, the present regulatory scenario, DTC ad spending by major pharma companies, DTC ad spending on major pharma brands, critical review of select successful and failed DTC ad campaigns in the recent years, current market trends, key growth drivers, recent ad campaign launches, recent industry activity, and profiles of major and niche market participants. The report analyzes annual estimates and projections for Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) Advertising Spending in Pharmaceuticals in the US market for the years 2009 through 2017 by the following media channels - Internet Advertising, Print Media, Television, and Other Media Channels. Also, a six-year (2003-2008) historic analysis is provided for additional perspective.

For more details about this comprehensive market research report, please visit –

About Global Industry Analysts, Inc.
Global Industry Analysts, Inc., (GIA) is a leading publisher of off-the-shelf market research. Founded in 1987, the company currently employs over 800 people worldwide. Annually, GIA publishes more than 1300 full-scale research reports and analyzes 40,000+ market and technology trends while monitoring more than 126,000 Companies worldwide. Serving over 9500 clients in 27 countries, GIA is recognized today, as one of the world's largest and reputed market research firms.

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