May 04, 2001

Interep released a report on radio’s effectiveness in targeting prescription drug consumers. The report, entitled Prescription Drug DTC Advertising/ Why Radio Works for Direct-to-Consumer Prescription Drug Advertisers, addresses radio’s ability to reach key DTC targets, as well as the opportunities radio offers Rx advertisers. The report is part of Interep’s marketing effort targeted toward DTC prescription drug advertisers.

Since the FDA relaxed the guidelines for prescription drug advertising on broadcast media in 1997, advertising expenditures have soared to $2.3 billion, benefiting both television and radio. However, while spending on radio has increased dramatically - growing from $9 million in 1999 to $33 million in 2000 - a relatively small portion of
total Rx DTC spending is currently directed toward the medium. About 50% of their spending goes to broadcast television. But according to Debbie Durben, President of the Interep Marketing Group, this is slowly changing.

“Last year we saw a number of large DTC advertisers increase not only dollars spent on radio, but their percentage of total dollars directed toward our medium. Marketers are beginning to recognize the tremendous share of voice opportunity available on radio, particularly as television becomes increasingly crowded with competing DTC prescription brands,” said Durben.

Last year the ten largest prescription drug advertisers on radio included:

• Claritin Allergy • Procrit Anemia • Tamiflu Flu • Avandia Diabetes • Prilosec Heartburn • Allegra Allergy
• Glucovance Diabetes • Lymerix Lyme Disease • Xenical Fat Blocker • Patanol Allergy

The report also cites radio’s promotional and sponsorship opportunities – for instance, the ability of allergy medication advertisers to sponsor pollen reports, or flu medication advertisers to sponsor winter weathercasts - as a key draw for DTC advertisers. Radio’s Internet capability, particularly its ability to drive consumers to websites for additional
product information is cited as another draw.

For more information at

Leave a reply

Enter the characters shown in the image.