Direct to consumer advertising | Nursing homework help
The practice of advertising prescription drugs to consumers directly is known as direct-to-consumer (DTCA). DTCA’s goal is to raise consumer awareness about prescription drugs, their benefits and increase demand. This practice, however, has caused controversy and raised questions about the ethical standards of advertising prescription drugs.
I’ve seen DTCA have a major impact in my nursing practice. Many patients come to the clinic with specific drug requests they’ve seen advertised, even though they might not be the most appropriate treatment for their conditions. Patients may demand drugs not covered by insurance, or not appropriate for the patient’s condition.
DTCA is problematic from an ethical standpoint. Patients have a right to autonomy and to make their own informed healthcare decisions. However, DTCA may lead patients to base these decisions on inaccurate or incomplete information. It can lead to harm for patients and undermine informed consent.
DTCA may lead patients to receive drugs not appropriate or necessary for their medical condition. This can have adverse side effects. It violates the principle that first do no harm.
On the basis of justice, DTCA may contribute to inequalities in healthcare access, since patients with low financial resources might not be able to afford drugs advertised while others with greater resources are more likely to request and obtain these drugs. The ethical principle of equity in the distribution and access to healthcare is violated.
DTCA may also have a negative impact on the healthcare industry, by reducing people to consumers. Healthcare becomes a commodity to be purchased and sold. It undermines values such as compassion and care that are at the core of the nursing profession.
While DTCA can increase awareness about prescription medications, it raises ethical issues that need to be considered. It is vital that healthcare professionals remain vigilant when it comes to promoting ethical healthcare practices, such as the proper use of prescription medications.
1. Alexander, J. A., & Palamountain, K. (2015). Direct-to-consumer prescription drug advertising: Ethical considerations and legal issues. The Journal of Clinical Ethics 26(1): 23-31.
2. Gruen, R. L., Madison, J. B., & Ellingrod, V. L. (2015). Direct-to consumer prescription drug advertising: Impact on patients and health care system. Current Psychiatry Reports 17(9): 1-8.