Assessing the Impact of Direct-to-Consumer Advertising (DTCA) on Consumer Behavior

Last registered on December 20, 2021

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Assessing the Impact of Direct-to-Consumer Advertising (DTCA) on Consumer Behavior
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0006690
Initial registration date
December 09, 2020

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
December 10, 2020, 12:26 PM EST

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.

Last updated
December 20, 2021, 9:06 AM EST

Last updated is the most recent time when changes to the trial's registration were published.

Locations

Region

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
Johns Hopkins University

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
USC Price School of Public Policy

Additional Trial Information

Status
On going
Start date
2021-01-15
End date
2021-12-31
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Abstract
Consumers in the United States are being exposed to unprecedented high levels of pharmaceutical direct-to-consumer-advertising (DTCA), with $5.63 billion spent in 2015. Prior work has identified associations between DTCA and rising prescription drug utilization using observational data, but the causal impact of DTCA is unclear. In order to concretely identify and estimate the effects of DTCA, we design a randomized experiment to examine the effects of DTCA on the use of drugs, health related behaviors, and information seeking behaviors, as well as the effects of price disclosure on behavioral intentions and consumer behavior.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Eisenberg, Matthew and Neeraj Sood. 2021. "Assessing the Impact of Direct-to-Consumer Advertising (DTCA) on Consumer Behavior." AEA RCT Registry. December 20. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.6690
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
Intervention Start Date
2021-01-15
Intervention End Date
2021-03-15

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Outcome measures include the likelihood of participants taking the drug as directed, switching drugs, asking their physician about the drug, asking their insurer about the drug, researching the drug online, having intentions to eat healthier food and be physically active, and actually eating healthier food and being physically active.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
We will be fielding an experiment with randomized assignment of participants to three possible study arms: DTCA (Treatment 1), DTCA with prices (Treatment 2), and non-drug advertising (Control Group).
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization done in an office by a computer
Randomization Unit
Individual
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
N/A
Sample size: planned number of observations
We will recruit participants currently using a prescription drug for cardiovascular disease or at high risk for cardiovascular disease. Specifically, we will include English speaking United States residents aged 40-64 who have been diagnosed with cardiovascular disease or are currently are a cigarette smoker or are obese. We will be aiming for 675 participants in each experiment arm, for a total of 2,025 participants across all arms. Sample sizes have been confirmed with Ipsos, the online survey research firm, and have been deemed feasible given their current survey panels and reach.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
We will be aiming for 675 participants in each experiment arm, for a total of 2,025 participants across all arms.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
University of Southern California Institutional Review Board
IRB Approval Date
2020-04-10
IRB Approval Number
UP-19-00780

Post-Trial

Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Intervention

Is the intervention completed?
No
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?
No

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials