Physicians’ perspective regarding direct to consumer marketing of nutraceuticals products | Zaman | Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences Old Website

Physicians’ perspective regarding direct to consumer marketing of nutraceuticals products

Kamran Ali Zaman, Kiran Asim, Nusrat Shah, Syed Jamshed Ahmed


Objectives: Recently pharmaceutical marketers have expanded their audience by directly to the consumers advertising (DTCA) which is almost always limited to non-prescription drugs. DTCA has substantial effects on patient behavior and physician prescription. The aim of this study was to assess the perspectives of physicians regarding the rapidly proliferating trend of direct to consumer marketing of nutraceutical drugs (ND).

Methods: It was a cross-sectional study from June 2016 to December 2016 which included 325 physicians from various cities of Pakistan who completed a structured questionnaire after providing informed consent. Questions were asked to assess physicians’ perception of the increasing trend of Direct to Consumer advertisement of nutraceuticals and its influence on their practice. The data was analyzed using SPSS (SPSS Inc., Chicago, Illinois, USA).

Results: There were 182 (56%) male and 143 (44%) female physicians in the study. Most of them were general practitioners (48%), spent an average weekly time of 1-2 hours gaining medical knowledge (56%), and most of them (52%) utilized internet as their source. Most physicians (88%, n=286) experienced knowledgeable patients who inquired about their diseases and treatment plans. Most of the physicians believed that e-detailing (72%, n=234) and DTCA (68%, n=221) of nutraceuticals helps practitioners in shaping a more effective treatment plan. Almost (62%, n=201) physicians prescribed medications their patients requested them to.

Conclusion: Physician perception of DTCA and e-detailing of nutraceuticals seems to be promising. However, physicians must be more prepared to deal with knowledgeable patients and put in maximum efforts to counsel them in such a manner that the prescription doesn’t contain “request specific” drugs but only the ones that are most beneficial for the patients.


How to cite this:Zaman K, Asim K, Shah N, Ahmed SJ. Physicians’ perspective regarding direct to consumer marketing of nutraceuticals products. Pak J Med Sci. 2018;34(3):710-713.   doi:

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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