, Volume 6, Issue 2-3, pp 93-102
Date: 06 Aug 2012

The impact of direct-to-consumer advertised drugs on drug sales in the US and New Zealand

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Direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA) of drugs has been suggested to be a factor in the increased burden of healthcare spending within the US. This review article analyses the pharmaceutical spending differences between the US and New Zealand, two nations that allow DTCA. The pharmaceutical spending burden of New Zealand and the US was compared by assessing the impact of heavily advertised drugs and their position and rank in the pharmaceutical spending of their respective nation. The US spends far more money on pharmaceuticals than New Zealand. It may appear that heavily advertised drugs in the US have a potentially larger impact on what is being prescribed and paid for. It is also probable that the differences in healthcare systems in each nation (free market vs socialized medicine) can have an influence on pharmaceutical spending. The great amount of money being spent on pharmaceuticals per capita in the US is a more complex issue than can be solved solely by targeting DTCA.