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Public Health Impact of Direct-to-Consumer Advertising of Prescription Drugs, July 2001-January 2002: [United States] (ICPSR 3687)

Principal Investigator(s): Weissman, Joel, Harvard Medical School


Using patient self-reports, this study addressed three major questions: (1) What sorts of conditions or problems are discussed during physician visits that include a discussion about a Direct to Consumer (DTC) Advertising drug? (2) What actions are taken by physicians, including additional tests and treatments, as a result of these visits? and, (3) Do outcomes of care differ according to whether the patient takes the DTCA drug that was discussed during the visit or some other drug? Survey questions focused on five main topics: health status and utilization, experience with DTC advertising, visits to doctor to discuss information, outcomes, and health insurance. Respondents were asked to describe their overall health, the estimated time since their last doctor visit, whether they currently took any prescription medications, and from what sources and how often they received medical information. Respondents were also questioned on whether they were familiar with prescription drug advertisements, in what media they had seen such advertisements, whether friends had ever mentioned such advertisements to them, whether those advertisements had provided useful information, and whether such advertisements had ever prompted them to speak to a doctor about taking a prescription drug. Respondents were also queried on the primary ailment about which they had spoken to their doctor, whether their doctor had ever prescribed a drug or drugs to treat that ailment, whether that drug was the same drug they had seen in advertisements, and whether they had filled and taken that prescription. Additional questions were asked of the respondents regarding the results of taking the prescribed drug, satisfaction with the drug's performance, whether they experienced any side effects from the drug, and whether the drug affected their ability to work. Those surveyed were also asked whether they had health insurance and whether that insurance paid in part or in full for their prescription drugs. Background information includes sex, age, race, marital status, employment status, education level, and income level.

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Study Description


Weissman, Joel. Public Health Impact of Direct-to-Consumer Advertising of Prescription Drugs, July 2001-January 2002: [United States]. ICPSR03687-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2003. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR03687.v1

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR03687.v1

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Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    advertising, consumer behavior, economic behavior, health behavior, health insurance, health services utilization, media influence, medical care, medical evaluation, medical procedures, medications, physician patient relationship, prescription drugs, public health

Geographic Coverage:    United States

Time Period:   

  • 2001-07-09--2002-01-16

Date of Collection:   

  • 2001-07-09--2002-01-16

Universe:    Adults aged 18 and older living in the continental United States with telephones.

Data Type(s):    survey data

Data Collection Notes:

The codebook is provided by ICPSR as a Portable Document Format (PDF) file. The PDF file format was developed by Adobe Systems Incorporated and can be accessed using PDF reader software, such as the Adobe Acrobat Reader. Information on how to obtain a copy of the Acrobat Reader is provided on the ICPSR Web site.


Sample:    A nationally representative sample, using random-digit dialing. Participants were selected using the youngest male adult technique.

Data Source:

telephone interviews


Original ICPSR Release:   2003-04-25

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