Skin Wars: Building Mediated Social Connections to Promote Prescription Drugs
Direct-to-consumer prescription drug advertising (DTCA) is the fastest growing form of advertising, topping $6 billion in expenditures in 2017. Celebrities play a key role in promoting prescription medications, including entertainers, actresses and actors, sports figures and political figures. This chapter provides an overview of the ways in which DTCA has moved from its beginning in print and television to enter into newer media platforms, what is referred to as eDTCA. The chapter looks at the way celebrities like Jennifer Aniston and Cedric the Entertainer, among others, promote prescription drugs, and the chapter presents a case study of pop singer Cyndi Lauper, who is the spokesperson for a psoriasis drug. The chapter also speaks to the new role of ePatient, ordinary people who become health advocates for themselves or loved ones.