• Journal Article

Awareness of the Food and Drug Administration's Bad Ad Program and Education Regarding Pharmaceutical Advertising: A National Survey of Prescribers in Ambulatory Care Settings

Citation

O'Donoghue, A. C., Boudewyns, V., Aikin, K. J., Geisen, E., Betts, K. R., & Southwell, B. (2015). Awareness of the Food and Drug Administration's Bad Ad Program and Education Regarding Pharmaceutical Advertising: A National Survey of Prescribers in Ambulatory Care Settings. Journal of Health Communication, 20(11), 1330-1336. DOI: 10.1080/10810730.2015.1018649

Abstract

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Bad Ad program educates health care professionals about false or misleading advertising and marketing and provides a pathway to report suspect materials. To assess familiarity with this program and the extent of training about pharmaceutical marketing, a sample of 2,008 health care professionals, weighted to be nationally representative, responded to an online survey. Approximately equal numbers of primary care physicians, specialists, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners answered questions concerning Bad Ad program awareness and its usefulness, as well as their likelihood of reporting false or misleading advertising, confidence in identifying such advertising, and training about pharmaceutical marketing. Results showed that fewer than a quarter reported any awareness of the Bad Ad program. Nonetheless, a substantial percentage (43%) thought it seemed useful and 50% reported being at least somewhat likely to report false or misleading advertising in the future. Nurse practitioners and physician assistants expressed more openness to the program and reported receiving more training about pharmaceutical marketing. Bad Ad program awareness is low, but opportunity exists to solicit assistance from health care professionals and to help health care professionals recognize false and misleading advertising. Nurse practitioners and physician assistants are perhaps the most likely contributors to the program