This article examines whether providing a drug facts box on direct-to-consumer advertising can impact consumer understanding and decision-making. Direct-to-consumer advertising of pharmaceuticals does not currently provide consumers with clear and accessible information to help them make informed decisions.
The authors conducted two randomized, controlled trials between 2006 and 2007. The data were collected via mailed surveys measuring respondents' reactions to two drug fact boxes versus traditional direct-to-consumer advertisements. One trial compared two potential treatments for heartburn and the other compared two potential preventive medications for cardiovascular events.
The authors conclude that drug fact boxes have the potential to improve consumers' knowledge of the potential benefits and side effects of medications.