Randomized Study of Placebo and Framing Information in Direct-to-Consumer Print Advertisements for Prescription Drugs
- 490 Downloads
Research suggests that quantitative information in direct-to-consumer (DTC) prescription drug ads may be helpful for consumers.
The objective was to examine the effect of adding placebo rates and framing to DTC ads.
In study 1, 2,000 Internet panel members with chronic pain participated in a randomized controlled experiment of DTC ads varying in placebo rate and framing. In study 2, 596 physicians ranked DTC ads varying in placebo rate and framing by how well they conveyed scientific information and their usefulness for patients.
In study 1, participants who viewed placebo rates were able to recall them and use them to form certain perceptions. A mixed frame led to lower placebo rate recall and perceived efficacy. In study 2, overall, physicians preferred a placebo/single frame ad.
Adding placebo rates to DTC ads may be useful for consumers. The evidence does not support using a mixed frame.
Key wordsDTC advertising Placebo Mixed frame Quantitative
The OMB Control Number for this study is 0910-0692. We would like to thank Adam Rosenblatt, M.A., of Penn Schoen Berland for his assistance with data collection and Kayla Gray of RTI International for her assistance with stimuli development. They both received compensation for their work through contracts with FDA. The study was funded by FDA, the organization at which all authors are employed.
Authors’ Statement of Conflict of Interest and Adherence to Ethical Standards
Authors O’Donoghue, Sullivan, and Aikin declare that they have no conflict of interest. All procedures, including the informed consent process, were conducted in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000.
- 1.Prescription Drug Advertisements, 21C.F.R. Sect. 202.1 (2012).Google Scholar
- 5.O'Donoghue AC, Sullivan HW, Aikin KJ, Chowdhury D, Moultrie RR, Rupert DJ. Presenting efficacy information in direct-to-consumer prescription drug advertisements. Patient Educ Couns; in press (available online 25 Dec 2013). doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2013.12.010.
- 10.Petty RE. Two routes to persuasion: State of the art. In: d’Ydewalle G, Eelen P, Bertelson P, eds. International Perspectives on Psychological Science, Vol. 2: The State of the Art. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.; 1994:229–247.Google Scholar