AMA Journal of Ethics®

Illuminating the art of medicine

Journal of Ethics Header

AMA Journal of Ethics®

Illuminating the art of medicine

Virtual Mentor. April 2003, Volume 5, Number 04

Ethics Poll

Direct-to-Consumer Advertising: A Benefit or a Harm?

The Ethics Poll is a snapshot of the opinions of interested readers.

Direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising is widespread in both print and broadcast media. Some suggest that DTC advertising allows the consumer to be better informed and improves communication between patient and physician. Skeptics suggest that DTC may erode the physician autonomy, lead to inappropriate prescribing, and waste time in physician office visits.

Do you think that DTC marketing provides consumers of health care services with accurate, meaningful information?
Poll results reflect the opinions of visitors to the site who voluntarily answer the poll questions. Those visitors do not represent a random sample of Virtual Mentor readers. The viewpoints expressed on this site are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the AMA.