Comments, Opinions, and Brief Case Reports
Health Care Reform
November 23, 2009

Direct-to-Consumer Offers for Free and Discounted Medications on the Internet: A Content Analysis of “e-Samples”

Author Affiliations

Copyright 2009 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2009

Arch Intern Med. 2009;169(21):2024-2030. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2009.397

The United States has witnessed dramatic changes in the marketing of prescription drugs over the past decade. From one perspective, patients, exposed to a dramatic increase in direct-to-consumer (DTC) promotion of prescription medications,1 are now “consumers” of health care. The pharmaceutical industry suggests that this promotion helps patients make more informed choices.2 However, observers have questioned the benefits of DTC marketing and the balance of associated risk and benefit information.3,4

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