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The current study observes that while several studies have been conducted on the direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA) of prescription drugs, none has explicitly evaluated the ethical dimension DTCA of prescriptions, as such a knowledge gap still exists with regard to the ethics of DTCAs. To contribute to filling this gap, the current study evaluates the ethical DTCA of prescription drugs using Pfizer's Lipitor ad, which because of public outcry, was terminated shortly after it was launched. The study concludes that what may be legal may not necessarily be ethical. Thus marketing decision marketers must expand their focus group testing of DTCAs to include assessment of their ethics.


Paul Sergius Koku. The legal and ethical dimensions of direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription drugs: the case of Pfizer and Lipitor in the United States. Health marketing quarterly. 2021 Jan-Mar;38(1):23-34

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PMID: 34219606

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