Advertisers sometimes include price-comparison information in direct-to-consumer (DTC) prescription drug ads because consumers may value such savings when considering drug options. It is not known whether a context statement—a disclosure noting that compared products may or may not be equally effective or safe or costly—could improve consumer understanding of risk, efficacy, and price. Using a between-subjects experiment, we tested effects of price claim type (price comparison versus general cost savings) and presence of a disclosure statement in a fictitious but professionally developed DTC prescription drug print ad. Results indicated that when people remembered seeing the disclosure, they demonstrated uncertainty regarding risks, efficacy, and savings; however, most did not notice the disclosure, despite its prominent placement in the ad.
Consumer reactions to price comparison and disclosure information in prescription drug print advertising