• Decrease font size
  • Return font size to normal
  • Increase font size
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Scientific Publications by FDA Staff

  • Print
  • Share
  • E-mail

Search Publications



Starting Date

Ending Date

Order by

Entry Details

Ann Behav Med 2014 Dec;48(3):311-22

Randomized Study of Placebo and Framing Information in Direct-to-Consumer Print Advertisements for Prescription Drugs.

O'Donoghue AC, Sullivan HW, Aikin KJ


BACKGROUND: Research suggests that quantitative information in direct-to-consumer (DTC) prescription drug ads may be helpful for consumers. PURPOSE: The objective was to examine the effect of adding placebo rates and framing to DTC ads. METHODS: In study 1, 2,000 Internet panel members with chronic pain participated in a randomized controlled experiment of DTC ads varying in placebo rate and framing. In study 2, 596 physicians ranked DTC ads varying in placebo rate and framing by how well they conveyed scientific information and their usefulness for patients. RESULTS: In study 1, participants who viewed placebo rates were able to recall them and use them to form certain perceptions. A mixed frame led to lower placebo rate recall and perceived efficacy. In study 2, overall, physicians preferred a placebo/single frame ad. CONCLUSIONS: Adding placebo rates to DTC ads may be useful for consumers. The evidence does not support using a mixed frame.

Category: Journal Article
PubMed ID: #24682975 DOI: 10.1007/s12160-014-9603-1
Includes FDA Authors from Scientific Area(s): Drugs
Entry Created: 2014-04-01 Entry Last Modified: 2015-01-31