Prevention Magazine Releases 13th Annual DTC Survey Results


57% of Consumers Say Pharmaceutical Advertising is Accepted Voice in Social Media; Generic Prescription Requests At An All-Time High with 61% of Consumers Requesting a Generic or Less Expensive Medicine

New York, NY – July 15, 2010 – According to Prevention Magazine’s 13th annual national survey Consumer Reaction to DTC Advertising of Prescription Drugs, consumers are paying attention to the FDA regulated “fair balance” mandate between risk and benefit information on all DTC ads; the majority believe pharmaceutical advertising in magazines and television is presented “both fair and balanced.” Conducted by Prevention, Men’s Health and Women’s Health magazines, published by Rodale Inc., with technical assistance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Division of Drug Marketing, Advertising, and Communication (FDA-DDMAC), the survey is one of the primary consumer studies informing the FDA’s stance on DTC issues.

For five consecutive years in a row, consumers reported consistent balance of awareness and attention paid to both risks and benefits in TV and magazine ads:
     &middot  79% of consumers have “seen and heard” the TV DTC Ads Risk;
76% pay a lot / some         attention and find the information very or somewhat useful.

     &middot  73% of consumers have “seen and heard” TV DTC Ads Benefits; 63% pay a lot / some         attention; 75% find the information very or somewhat useful.

     &middot  48% of consumers have “seen and heard” Magazine DTC Ads Benefits; 66% pay a lot / some         attention; 75% find the information very or somewhat useful.

     &middot  52% of consumers have “seen and heard” Magazine DTC Ads Benefits; 63% pay a lot / some         attention; 76% find the information very or somewhat useful.

Consumers also reported that they feel online DTC ads need to work harder to improve consumer awareness of DTC Ads Risks:
     &middot  Only 37% have “seen and heard” Online DTC Ads Risk; 69% pay a lot / some attention;         75% find the information very or somewhat useful.

     &middot  54% have “seen and heard” Online DTC Ads Benefits; 57% pay a lot / some attention;          76% find the information very or somewhat useful.

“Consumers are more responsive to the ‘fair balance’ in traditional media due to its familiarity and the recognizable formula,” says Cary Silvers, Director of Consumer Insights at Rodale. “In magazine and TV ads, risk has appeared in a very consistent manner, mainly the black and white page and the voice-over. New and evolving online formats have not delivered the same level of recognition thus far.”

60% of online consumers use social media when searching for health information: the Internet’s growing user-generated content websites have proved to be a premium and trusted resource for online consumers with Wikipedia and online forums/message boards like lead the charge with a search following of 42%, both up six points vs. 2009; health-related blogs like followed at 30%, up an additional three points vs. 2009. These increased results confirm consumer’s trust in the personal health experiences of average individuals similar to themselves:
     &middot  76% of online consumers want to obtain information from other people who share the same          medical condition; 73% from doctors or other health care providers; 66% from friends and          family.

Advertising within the social media landscape has quickly become an accepted voice for pharmaceutical companies with 57% of consumers saying ads are acceptable on sites that cover health and medical issues:
     &middot  62% of online consumers revealed they are not interested in hearing from pharmaceutical          companies; 62% say insurance companies.

Other key findings from the 13th annual national survey on Consumer Reaction to DTC Advertising of Prescription Drugs:

Consumers are online to seek out the very best health information with the majority finding the information both useful and trustworthy:
     &middot  78% are seeking information about a specific medical condition.

     &middot  63% about alternative treatments.

     &middot  24% are seeking for rankings, reviews and/or prescription medicine

     &middot  66% say the information is useful; 58% say the information is trustworthy

DTC Ads/driving doctor discussions is unchanged while patients requesting a drug are at an all-time low:
     &middot  33% of consumers say as a result of seeing a DTC ad they had a conversation with their          doctor about the medicine being advertised. This has remained stable for 13 years!          Among them:

                &middot  19% say they asked for the doctor to prescribe the advertised medicine, down 9 points                    vs. 2009; the lowest number recorded in 13 years of tracking history.

                &middot  79% say they just talked to the doctor about the medicine, up 9 points from last year;                    the highest number recorded in 13 years of tracking history.

Said Mary Murcko, SVP/Publisher of Prevention, “As always, Prevention is at the forefront of talking to consumers about their personal health and wellness. In its 13th year, this survey continues to provide pharmaceutical advertisers with the most up-to-date research and information on the impact their advertising has with consumers.”

Generic prescription requests delivered impressive gains with 61% of consumers requesting a generic or less expensive medicine. This spike in requests represents an all-time high for generic prescriptions, indicating that there is little to no brand loyalty:
     &middot  More than one in four people (28%) say they have requested a specific brand of medicine.

     &middot  Nearly three-fourths (73%) of that segment say they have also requested a generic or less         expensive medicine.

Prepared by Princeton Survey Research Associates International, March 2010. Telephone interviews were conducted with a nationally representative sample of 1,501 adults living in the continental United States from April 16-28, 2010. Statistical results are weighted to correct known demographic discrepancies. The margin of sampling error for the complete set of weighted data is ±3 percent.

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About Prevention:
Prevention is the #1 healthy lifestyle brand in the U.S., with a magazine audience of more than 10.2 million readers as well as the top online health magazine destination ( with 2.6 million unique visitors each month, 22 million page views and 1.3 million in newsletter distribution. Prevention also publishes branded books-most recently 400 Calorie Fix and the best-selling Flat Belly Diet! franchise-special-interest publications, bookazines, DVDs, and 16 international editions. In 2009, nearly 50 million Prevention-branded products were sold.

About Rodale:
Rodale is a global multi-platform media company with a mission dedicated to the health and wellness of the individual, community and planet. The company, which reaches more than 70 million people worldwide, publishes some of the best-known health and wellness lifestyle magazines, including Prevention, Women’s Health, Organic Gardening, Men’s Health, Runner’s World, Bicycling and Running Times and is also one of the largest independent book publishers in America with a collection of international titles, including The South Beach Diet, An Inconvenient Truth, Flat Belly Diet!, and Eat This, Not That. Rodale’s broad range of media platforms includes magazines, books, video, and extensive websites. The company is also a leader in direct-response marketing and has more than 25 million active customers in its database. Visit the website at

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