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The Impact of Direct-to-Consumer Pharmaceutical Advertising on Public Knowledge of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease: A Study on Over-the-Counter Proton Pump Inhibitors

Authors AlShammari M, Assiri G, bin Buraykan M, Almogbel Y, Arafah A, Bashatah A, AlRuthia Y

Received 9 January 2020

Accepted for publication 4 March 2020

Published 20 March 2020 Volume 2020:14 Pages 635—642


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Johnny Chen

Maram AlShammari,1 Ghadah Assiri,1 Mohammed bin Buraykan,1 Yasser Almogbel,2 Azher Arafah,1,3 Adel Bashatah,4 Yazed AlRuthia1,5

1Department of Clinical Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; 2Department of Pharmacy Practice, College of Pharmacy, Qassim University, Buraidah, Saudi Arabia; 3Department of Pharmacy Practice, College of Pharmacy, AlMaarefa University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; 4Department of Nursing Education and Administration, College of Nursing, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; 5Pharmacoeconomics Research Unit, College of Pharmacy, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence: Yazed AlRuthia
Department of Clinical Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Tel +996 114677483
Fax +966 114677480

Background: The use of direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA) to promote sales of over-the-counter (OTC) pharmaceuticals used to manage common medical conditions, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), is increasing. However, the educational value of these advertisements as well as the public perceptions of this type of advertising remain largely unknown among non-English speaking populations.
Objective: The aim of this study was to explore the public perceptions and educational value of a short motion graphic video documenting the lifestyle of person with GERD and presenting a brief introduction to the role of proton pump Inhibitors (PPIs) in relieving the symptoms.
Methods: This was a prospective quasi-experimental study in which a short mock advertising motion graphic video was shown to a sample of adult individuals in malls and shopping centers in different cities across Saudi Arabia. Participants were required to express their levels of agreement with six statements concerning their perceptions of DTCA of OTC drugs, and answer a quiz consisting of three questions and enquiries about their knowledge of GERD and the OTC drugs used in its treatment.
Results: Two hundred and ninety-five participants were involved in this study, the majority of whom were female (55.30%). After watching the video, the percentages of participants who strongly agreed or agreed that DTCA is a credible source of information and encourages them to purchase the marketed drug have increased significantly (P< 0.05). With regard to the quiz, the percentages of participants with correct answers regarding the definition of GERD, knowledge of OTC drugs for GERD, and awareness of the common side effects of PPIs increased from 81.69% to 95.93%, 69.83% to 96.27%, and 46.44% to 91.53%, respectively (P< 0.0001).
Conclusion: DTCA of OTC drugs for GERD, particularly if the content complies with the regulatory requirements, can promote the public knowledge of the disease and treatment options.

Keywords: direct-to-consumer advertising, gastroesophageal reflux, proton pump inhibitors

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