Australian Family Physician
Australian Family Physician


Volume 40, Issue 3, March 2011

Disease awareness advertising Women’s intentions following exposure

Danika Hall Sandra C Jones Don Iverson
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In Australia, where direct to consumer advertising of prescription medicines is prohibited, pharmaceutical companies can sponsor disease awareness advertising targeting consumers. This study examined the impact of disease awareness advertising exposure on older women’s reported behavioural intentions.
Disease awareness advertising may stimulate demand for prescription medicine products. This has serious implications for general practitioners and regulators.
Two hundred and forty-one women responded to 466 advertisements. Almost half reported an intention to ask their doctor for a prescription or referral as a result of seeing the advertisement, but more reported they would talk to their doctor and ask about treatments and tests. Participants were more likely to report an intention to ask for prescriptions if they perceived the health condition to be severe and themselves susceptible or if they had viewed advertisements containing limited information on the disease.

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