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XMFHelical (< 20)

More on Direct to Consumer Pharma Advertising



May 23, 2008 – Comments (5) | RELATED TICKERS: JNJ


I got my pants(?) in a bunch recently over what might be the start of a trend in direct to consumer (DTC) pharmaceutical advertising.  The gripe was with a couple of sponsored youtube contests for user generated advertising of pharmaceutical products.  Those blogs are here and here.

I just recently read this month a commentary / perspective piece in the New England Journal of Medicine on the topic of DTC advertising.  This wasn't related to the issue I had, but instead was a discussion on a particular advertisement by JNJ for Cyper - coronary stents.

It is a good pro and con consideration of the benefits and pitfalls of DTC advertising of this particular medical device.  For those interested in these kinds of arguments, I recommend giving it a read.

May require registration.  The opening only is here.

The pros as I see them are that consumers / patients may be made aware of conditions that they suffer from but were otherwise unfamiliar with i.e. it may spurn those to seek medical assistance that wouldn't have otherwise.  It could also help initiate questions / discussion with a physician, an often intimidating experience where break-the-ice inquiries would be helpful.

The cons are the impressions given in a brief 30 second spot that something is 'curable' with minimal risk discussion.  Alternatives don't get any play either (diet in place of a pharmaceutical solution for example).  In general, sound-byte education is never adequate and can often lead to bad choices (as investors know well enough).

No simple answer either way.  And a situation that does indeed require constant vigilance (and need to stay the heck off Youtube!).

Zz (who does own some JNJ by the way).

5 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On May 23, 2008 at 3:16 PM, madcowmonkey (< 20) wrote:

Hey Zz, I thought about making a youtube clip about the wrigley mars event, but I couldn't pull it together knowing that your little girl isn't getting her gum dividend:) If you have no idea what I am talking about then somebody is using your sn somewhere else? 

I haven't really ran across any other commercials on youtube, other than the one that you brought up. I tend to watch a little bit, but I think a person would actually have to work at finding the vids. I don't do any prescription drugs or I would try to youtube it.


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#2) On May 23, 2008 at 4:34 PM, XMFHelical (< 20) wrote:


Yeah, my daughter will miss her gum.  My son (6) is a youtube junkie and can (disturbingly) spend hours there.  He mostly watches videos on transformer cartoons and 'tutorials' on how to transform the toys (I kid you not).

My favorites right now are the 'I'm a Marvel, I'm a DC' series.

Good stuff


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#3) On May 23, 2008 at 4:59 PM, madcowmonkey (< 20) wrote:

Nice, these kids have way cool toys. When I grew up we had a commodore 64 that I played Jump on and everything was related to sports. I did get to go roller skating though. Lots of hotties there.

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#4) On May 23, 2008 at 11:01 PM, Tastylunch (28.69) wrote:

RE: DTC ads

I think the cons outweigh the pros, just my two cents.

The internet seems to have two unitended side effects from what I call tell.

Less accountability in information, blogs and videoss often seem like spin/propaganda to me

And spread of misinformation. I think fringe movementshave really captalized on the lack of accountability to spread their misguided nonsense. 

These videos have no absolutely oversight but I think  there will be people that will trust them anyway. The potential for abuse outweighs the potentail informative value to the consumer imo.


HelicalZz, If I was kid today I'd watch transformer vids on youtube too. I loved the orginials as a youngter . :-) Watching Optimus Prime die in the movie theatre when I was a kid was  probably one of the last times I cried.

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#5) On May 24, 2008 at 11:10 AM, XMFHelical (< 20) wrote:

i.e. it may spurn those to seek medical assistance that wouldn't have otherwise


Spur - encouage, foster, etc.  Not Spurn.  duh.


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