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M 16: Direct-to-Consumer Television Marketing of Oncology Products in the US

Poster Presenter

      Shivani Shah

      • PharmD Candidate, Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy
      • Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
        United States


The objective of this poster is to analyze the only four oncology direct-to-consumer marketing commercials observed after 2010 to determine the tactics utilized to communicate drug information to a specific patient population.


We analyzed the following commercials: pegfilgrastrim, raloxifene, nivolumab, and sipuleucel-T. We looked at average length in seconds and analyzed these components of each commercial: indication; adverse effects, warnings and precautions, and contraindications stated; and marketing strategy.


The preliminary results of the comparisons indicate that while the commercials themselves vary in disseminating information to their target population, they all ranged from 60-90 seconds in length. Adverse events and warnings were heavily emphasized as they were the lengthiest portion of each commercial, accounting for 15-30 seconds. However, potential benefits and patient recommendations to ask their physician about the product were both allotted 3-5 seconds and 3 seconds, respectively, in the beginning and end of the commercials. Images, messages, and emotions that were present in each commercial were identified, such as family, patient self-identification, womanhood, and manhood. Endpoints of focus in the commercials were primarily extending life, reducing the risk of malignancy and reducing complications associated with the treatment of said malignancy.


While direct-to-consumer marketing of oncology products is rare, the commercials analyzed in this study focused on facilitating a dialogue between a patient and their physician to talk about the potential benefit a specific medication could have for said patient. All the commercials were similar in structure and the timeline of the information presented. However, they differed significantly in images and messages based on their unique target patient population. Overall, the end goal of these advertisements focused on educating the general public about the disease state and increasing communication with health care providers.

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