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Why Pharmaceutical Advertising Is Virtually Absent From the Web

Why Pharmaceutical Advertising Is Virtually Absent From the Web

Government inaction has caused the industry to lag behind

Quick—think of the most recent digital ad you saw. Was it automotive? Retail? Most likely. Name almost any other category and the same probably holds true.

Also likely to be true? That the ad you saw wasn’t pharmaceutical related, despite 2015 pharmaceutical spending matching the 2006 record level of $5.4 billion. That’s up 19 percent from 2014. As ad dollars in every vertical continue to migrate to digital, why is advertising for prescription drugs targeted to consumers—also known as direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising—lagging behind?

It’s not because Americans are not online. Data from the Pew Research Center shows that 84 percent of Americans are on the internet. Long lagging their younger cohorts, seniors are now overwhelmingly online too. And, it’s not due to low usage of prescribed pharmaceuticals—which are an important part of Americans’ health care regimens, no matter the age. Half of all Americans have taken at least one prescription drug in the past 30 days; 10 percent have taken at least three.

Read More from Brad Weltman in Adweek