Table 2.

Effects of Direct-to-Consumer Ads in the Most Favorable and Unfavorable Combinations of Drug and Medical Conditions

Drug TypeSevere, Prevalent, or Undertreated ConditionMild, Rare, or Overtreated Condition
Effective drug with rare or mild side effectsLikely beneficialIncreased medicalization and cost for a small benefit and rare hazard
Low-effectiveness drug with severe or common side effectsBeneficial for a small subgroup
 Hazardous for most viewersPublic health hazard