physicians

Patient Surveys
The number of surveys collected during the study period was 1065,703 women (66%) and 362 men (34%). The number of surveys returned from each of the sites was directly proportional to their patient volume during the time period of the survey. The median age of respondents was 53.2 years old (standard deviation +/- 2.6 ). The survey respondents’ demographics are listed in Table 4. The ethnic distribution of the sample indicates the majority of the respondents (91%) categorized as African American, followed by 5% Hispanic/ Latino/Mexican and 03% Caucasian. As illustrated, the majority of the respondents did have health insurance (3% had no insurance) and were on prescription medications. Most of the respondents had at least a high school degree or more education.

The results indicate that 76% of patients had been exposed to DTC ads in the two months prior to their office visit. While 77 % of patients did not have a question for the MD as the result of an ad on the day of the visit, a significant percentage (23%) of the patients did. Figure 2 reports the various actions due to DTC ads, of the respondents, 6 % made an appointment and 21% indicated that they wanted to discuss a prescription medication with their physician at the visit because of an ad. Of the 21%, a majority (82%) felt that the physician would discuss the medication with them just as they would discuss any other question about their health. Additionally, 11% of the patients surveyed indicated that they were planning on asking their doctor for a prescription they had seen or heard advertised. According to the respondents 44% looked for more information because of the ad. Other significant findings include compliance, 23 % of the patient’s surveyed indicated that they are more likely to take the prescribed medication if they see or hear it advertised vs. 77% that answered no to this question. However, the respondents were very similar when asked if they felt that the ads helped them to make better decisions and/or keep them more informed about their health, 48% “yes” vs. 52% “no” (Figure 3). canadian pharmacy viagra

Table 4. DEMOGRAPHICS

Variable Frequency
Age Group
20s 11%
30s 19%
40s 24%
50s 17%
60s 20%
70s 09%
Ethnic Group
White / Caucasian 03%
Black / African American 91%
Hispanic / Latino / Mexican 05%
Asian >1%
Insurance Status
No Insurance / Self Pay 03%
HMO 29%
Private Ins. Carrier / PPO 32%
Medicare or Medicaid 24%
Medicare or Medicaid w/PPO 09%
Other 03%
Educational Level
Not a High School Graduate 24%
High School Graduate 23%
Technical or Junior College 02%
College Courses No Degree 27%
College Graduate 15%
Advanced / Professional Degree 07%
Other >1%
Number of Daily Prescription Medicines
None 31%
One – Three 44%
Three – Six 13%
Six – Nine 09%
Greater than 9 03%
P=<. 05 for all variables

Of the 34% of the respondents that indicated they had previously asked their physician about a specific medication that they saw advertised, 46% responded that their physician was happy to discuss; 2% reported that their physician was upset or angry with the questioning, 46 % indicated that the physician discussed it with them in the same manner as other health concerns and 02% did not discuss the medication with the patient. In response to the question on whether they had asked their physician for a prescription medication that they saw advertised, 29% responded “yes” and 71 % “no.” The majority (54%) of respondents that had asked for a medication indicated that the physician was happy to discuss, 28% discussed the question and wrote the prescription and 09% discussed but did not write.

Figure 2. ACTION DUE TO DTC ADS

Figure 2. ACTION DUE TO DTC ADS (Patient Response)

Physician Questionnaire

A total of 11 physicians were involved in this survey, of all the patients surveyed; physicians indicated that 9% asked them about a prescription medication advertised. The physician’s response to this group: 60% of them discussed the medication; 33% prescribed the medication, 07% of them gave the patient information and told them that they would discuss at the next visit (It should be noted that while the discussion between the physician and patient may vary, it is given that in order to prescribe there must be some discussion/conversation,) The majority of physicians (54%) reported that the discussion had a positive effect on the interaction, with 46% stating that there was no effect and 0% reporting a negative effect. The data reported was statistically significant with p=<.05; there was no statistically significant difference in physician respondents based on specialty, age, or other demographics.
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Table 5. RESPONDENTS PREVIOUS INTERACTION WITH PHYSICIANS REGARDING DTC (p = > .05 for all responses)

table5

 

Follow-Up Survey

As previously discussed, 21% (n=223) of patients reported that they wanted to discuss an advertised prescription medication with their physician. However, the physicians indicated that only 9% (n=96) asked about an advertised medication. We decided to follow up with a brief questionnaire to patients in an attempt to further investigate this variance; the results are reported in Table 6. Of the 21% surveyed, 92% of the surveys were returned; 97% affirmed that they had planned to discuss a prescription medication with their physician on the day of the visit. The majority, 33%, indicated that they did ask their physician about the medication with 26 % indicating that the physician answered the question before they asked, 19% forgot to ask but plan on asking at another visit, 14% stated that they started discussing other things and they forgot and 8% felt that there was not enough time. Of the 33% that indicated that they did discuss the medication with the physician, 88% stated that the physician discussed the medication but did not write the prescription, 11% received the prescription and <1 % did not specifically remember the result of the discussion.
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Figure 3. PATIENT PERCEPTIONS

Figure 3. PATIENT PERCEPTIONS REGARDING THE IMPACT OF ADS