Monday, February 1, 2010

Grad Student Struggling. . .

Hey all,
After a multi-month hiatus, I'm back to blogging again (yeah!).
As many of you know, I've started to work on a thesis again. Right now, I'm in the graduate studies section of the CSUS library, working on my literature review. I thought I'd post about my topic and what I've been doing the past two weeks, and hopefully get a little support from my dedicated readers out there :)

I'm researching the effects of direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription pharmaceuticals, something which started (on tv, at least) in 1997 after the FDA relaxed the "brief summary" guidelines for tv drug ads. This allowed pharma companies to give a brief summary of the drug advertised, outline the major risks only, and then provide a reference for more information- typically a telephone number or a website. Since then tv advertising of pharmaceuticals has exploded into a multi billion dollar business.

While I'm researching advertising of pharmaceuticals in magazines and on tv, I've been finding more interesting information on tv advertising, since the change in requirements since 1997. Magazine ads have been allowed in the US for longer periods of time, and are considered less controversial. Speaking of controversy, there's quite a bit out there. Right now, New Zealand and the US are the only countries that allow direct ads to consumers on tv, as many countries' health organizations have found that tv ads for drugs increases health care costs for both the consumer and the society at large. The connection between drug advertising and rising health care costs is especially worrisome for countries with socialized medicine.

That's all for now, but will be blogging more on my thesis in the near future. I have committed to sending my primary advisor a rough draft of the literature review on Sunday, so I suspect I'll post something before then.