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U.S. Health Care Systems & Policy

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Convincing people they are sick and need a drug is a multi-billion dollar industry. In 2015, Big Pharma dropped a record breaking $5.4 billion on direct-to-consumer (DTC) ads, according to Kantar Media. And it paid off for Big Pharma. The same year, Americans spent a record $457 billion on prescription drugs. The U.S. and New Zealand are the only countries where DTC is legal. Americans also pay more for drugs and devices than any other country”


According the FDA, prescription drug advertising must:

  • Be accurate
  • Balance the risk and benefit information
  • Be consistent with the prescribing information approved by FDA
  • Only include information that is supported by strong evidence

The assignment will be presented in a PowerPoint presentation (4 slide maximum) and will be graded based on the extent to which all questions on the evaluation guide are addressed

Discussion Questions for Aricept Ad:


  • What is your overall impression of the direct-to-consumer TV ad for Aricept?
  • Based on your knowledge and information from the Aricept PI, are there any claims or presentations that you find false or misleading?


  • What is your overall impression regarding the efficacy of Aricept after watching the TV ad?
    • Did the Alzheimer’s patient’s behavior change after he discussed Aricept treatment with the doctor?

b. How would you describe the magnitude of this change?

c. Is this improvement consistent with the clinical trials results as described in the Aricept PI?