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On TV, in the paper, and...on a phone booth!

May 28, 2008
by Doug Edwards
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Direct-to-consumer (D2C) advertising isn't new, but I was surprised to see an ad in my local newspaper for an antipsychotic medication. Then I saw an ad for the same drug on TV. And a couple weekends ago, I saw an ad for an antipsychotic on the side of a phone booth outside the National Aviary in Pittsburgh (of all places!). Antidepressant medications have been marketed directly to consumers for some time, but I believe directly marketing antipsychotics to consumers is new.

I have mixed feelings about directly marketing psychiatric medications to consumers. On one hand, the ads often show that mental illnesses can be successfully treated. On the other, they can portray the incorrect message that "popping a pill" is all it takes, despite their lengthy disclaimers.

Many people with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia do not seek treatment. If these ads motivate them to "talk to their doctors," perhaps D2C advertising of antipsychotics will be a good thing. Let me know what the buzz is around your facility.

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Doug Edwards

Vice President and Managing Director

Doug Edwards

http://www.behavioral.net

Doug Edwards is Vice President and Managing Director of Vendome Healthcare Media’s Mental Health...