Drug ads may not increase prescriptions

Companiese that advertise prescription drugs directly to consumers may not get as much bang for their buck as they - or their critics - assume. Direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA) of drugs is only permitted in the US and New Zealand and has long been controversial. Both proponents and opponents assume the ads increase prescriptions, with the former arguing they benefit society by raising awareness of diseases and available treatments and the latter that they pump up demand for drugs unnecessarily.