Direct-to-consumer advertising increases statin use and high cholesterol diagnosis

Monday, March 25, 2013 by: Katie BrindAmour
Tags: DTC advertising, statin drugs, cholesterol

eTrust Pro Certified

Most Viewed Articles
Popular on Facebook
BACK INTO THE CLOSET: Why U.S. reporters are not allowed to write about rainbow events in nations where being gay is still condemned
Depopulation test run? 75% of children who received vaccines in Mexican town now dead or hospitalized
A family destroyed: Six-month-old dies after clinic injects baby with 13 vaccines at once without mother's informed consent
INVESTIGATION: Three days before Dr. Bradstreet was found dead in a river, U.S. govt. agents raided his research facility to seize a breakthrough cancer treatment called GcMAF
BAM! Chipotle goes 100% non-GMO; flatly rejecting the biotech industry and its toxic food ingredients
BOMBSHELL: China and America already at war: Tianjin explosion carried out by Pentagon space weapon in retaliation for Yuan currency devaluation... Military helicopters now patrolling Beijing
ECONOMIC SLAVERY FOR ALL: While we were distracted with the Confederate flag flap, Congress quietly forfeited our entire economic future via fast-track trade authority
March Against Monsanto explodes globally... World citizens stage massive protests across 38 countries, 428 cities... mainstream media pretends it never happened
GMO crops totally banned in Russia... powerful nation blocks Monsanto's agricultural imperialism and mass poisoning of the population
SCOTUS same-sex marriage decision may have just legalized the concealed carry of loaded firearms across all 50 states, nullifying gun laws everywhere
Nearly every mass shooting in the last 20 years shares one surprising thing? and it's not guns
Vicious attack on Dr. Oz actually waged by biotech mafia; plot to destroy Oz launched after episode on glyphosate toxicity went viral
Holistic cancer treatment pioneer Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez dies suddenly; patients mourn the loss of a compassionate, innovative doctor who helped thousands heal from cancer
Pepsi drops aspartame from diet soda as consumers reject toxic sweetener
Bride of Frankenfood: Hillary Clinton pushes GMO agenda... hires Monsanto lobbyist... takes huge dollars from Monsanto
STATINS RED ALERT: Widely prescribed drugs act as cellular poisons that accelerate aging... deactivate DNA repair... promote diabetes, muscle fatigue and memory loss
Wild eyes and bowl cuts: Why do mass shooters always share the same hair styles and crazed zombie stares?
Mind control through emotional domination: How we're all being manipulated by the "crisis of the NOW"
(NaturalNews) Skeptics of the pharmaceutical industry have long expressed concern over the effect of direct-to-consumer advertising on diagnosis rates and prescription drug use. Perhaps not surprisingly, researchers at Cornell University recently found that exposure to advertisements about statins increased viewers' likelihood of being diagnosed and of using statins by 16-22 percent for both men and women. Most interestingly; however, the study found that this effect only held for people who were in least need of pharmaceutical treatment: the group of women and men at low risk of a future cardiac event.

The researchers point out that, for the low-risk group most affected by direct-to-consumer ads, the side effects or drawbacks of taking statins may outweigh the detrimental impact of untreated high cholesterol. High-risk women in the study were actually significantly less likely than those in moderate or low-risk categories to seek out statins despite exposure to direct advertising.

Self-diagnosis and the digital world of health information

With today's bounty of medical information online, individuals could simply run their symptoms through a symptom search to begin self-diagnosing or self-referring to cardiac specialists for problems such as high cholesterol. Although self-diagnosis has its perks - like motivating patients to seek professional medical advice and encouraging them to adhere to treatment regimens - it also can get in the way of more practical and less invasive medicine (like diet and exercise recommendations).

As the FDA looks into expanding over-the-counter access to a variety of drugs (including those for high cholesterol and high blood pressure), accurate self-diagnosis that still draws simple lifestyle-based advice will become especially crucial.

About one in three American adults has high cholesterol, and fewer than half of them get treatment for their condition. The list of complaints and supports for direct-to-consumer advertising for pharmaceuticals is lengthy and has strong arguments on both sides. The FDA has made multiple attempts to curb certain aspects of this advertisement industry, each time with different levels of success. Additional restrictions often requested include limits on the ability to mention specific drug names or the types of efficacy claims an ad can make.

Although a comprehensive reform is unlikely in the near future, one thing remains certain: direct-to-consumer advertising for prescription drugs significantly impacts the map of diagnoses and drug use in the United States, for better or worse.

Sources for this article include:

About the author:
Katie BrindAmour is a Certified Health Education Specialist and passionate health and wellness freelance writer. She enjoys cooking, yoga, gardening, searching for the perfect wine and chocolate combination, and spending time with friends. She has a Masters in Biology and is currently pursuing her PhD in Health Services Management and Policy. She also enjoys blogging for Women's Healthcare Topics and Healthline Networks.

Follow real-time breaking news headlines on
DTC advertising at
Join over four million monthly readers. Your privacy is protected. Unsubscribe at any time.
comments powered by Disqus
Take Action: Support by linking back to this article from your website

Permalink to this article:

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):

Reprinting this article:
Non-commercial use OK, cite with clickable link.

Follow Natural News on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Pinterest

Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...


Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source:

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.