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Poll: Americans paying attention to pharmaceutical ads

Posted On Tue, August 31, 2010

Television advertisements for prescription medications have become commonplace during many programs. Consumers have taken notice, according to a poll by Consumer Reports.

The poll reveals that 20 percent of Americans taking medication have asked their doctor to prescribe one they saw advertised.

Drug companies will be glad to hear this. CBS News cites data collected by the Harvard School of Public Health which shows that the pharmaceutical industry spent 15.7 billion on advertising in 2000. Sixteen percent of that money was on print and television advertising, they say.

The poll also found that medication safety is important for consumers with 87 percent saying obtaining such knowledge was important for them.

Director of the Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center John Santa says that he is encouraged by the fact that so many people are concerned about the effects medication can have.

"The safety information provided on all fronts - in hospitals, at the doctor's office, and the pharmacy - is hit or miss," says Santa. "When considering a new medication, consumers should ask their doctors about the drug in question, its purported use, how it should be taken, whether certain activities should be avoided, whether drug interactions are possible, and the types of side effects that could occur."ADNFCR-2297-ID-19930066-ADNFCR

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