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DTC Ads Hit Mark, Drive Increases In Office Visits

The amount of money spent on direct-to-consumer advertising in April (the latest month for which statistics are available) was up 38 percent from the same period last year.

Perhaps more significant, the ads are persuading people who otherwise might not do so to see their doctors. According to an audit by Scott-Levin, the consulting company, six of the top ten medical conditions that accounted for increased office visits last year were mentioned in direct-to-consumer advertisements.

Physicians may or may not like the increased foot traffic that direct-to-consumer ads generate, but the public apparently appreciates the information. Consumers told Scott-Levin that their doctors often do not take the time to educate them about medications and prescription options.

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