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September 17, 2003

Disseminating Health Care InnovationDisseminating Health Care Innovation

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie, MD, PhD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2003;290(11):1454-1455. doi:10.1001/jama.290.11.1454-a

To the Editor: While we concur with Dr Berwick's recommendations for disseminating innovations in health care,1 we note that they focus exclusively on dissemination through health care workers. As demonstrated by pharmaceutical advertising during the past decade, however, the consumer is also an influential, complementary driving force for disseminating innovations in health care. Direct-to-consumer (DTC) pharmaceutical advertising expenditures are estimated at $2.5 billion per year, a number that tripled between 1996 and 2000.2 Recent surveys attest to the remarkable results: 92% of the population have seen these advertisements, 21% have asked their physician for a prescription drug as a result, and among these, 58% have been given a prescription for a medication they asked about.3