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Viewpoint
November 2016

Direct-to-Consumer Advertising of Prescription Drugs Can Inform the Public and Improve Health

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Sociology, University of Miami, Miami, Florida
JAMA Oncol. 2016;2(11):1395-1396. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2016.2443

Is cancer-related, direct-to-consumer advertising beneficial?—Yes.

“It’s simple physics. A body at rest tends to stay at rest while a body in motion tends to stay in motion. Staying active can actually ease arthritis symptoms. But if you have arthritis, staying active can be difficult. Prescription Celebrex can help relieve arthritis pain so your body can stay in motion.”1 This voice-over from a 90-second Celebrex television commercial is played while images of a man in a picture book sitting in car motionless are being displayed. His motionless state demonstrates that arthritis can be disabling since the print photos are static. But when the photos start flipping, showing the man getting out of the car to go hiking with his wife and friends, it becomes apparent that the man is no longer in pain, presumably because he is taking Celebrex. Toward the end of the ad, a voiceover devotes 40 seconds to describing the contraindications and negative adverse effects of taking Celebrex.

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