NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Drug Advertising and Health Habit

Toshiaki Iizuka, Ginger Zhe Jin

NBER Working Paper No. 11770
Issued in November 2005
NBER Program(s):   HE   IO

We examine the effect of direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA) of drug treatment on an important health habit, physical exercise. By learning the existence of a new drug treatment via DTCA, rational consumers may become careless about maintaining healthy lifestyles. Using the National Health Insurance Survey (NHIS) and MSA-level DTCA data, we find that the DTCA related to four chronic conditions -- diabetes, high cholesterol, over weight, and hypertension -- reduce the likelihood of engaging in moderate exercise. This suggests the possibility that DTCA does not only affect pharmaceutical demand in the short-run, but also have long-run impacts on people's health by affecting their daily routines.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w11770

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