Assessing the Impact of Direct-to-Consumer Advertising (DTCA) on Consumer Behavior
Last registered on December 10, 2020

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
Last updated
December 10, 2020 12:26 PM EST
Location(s)

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Primary Investigator
Affiliation
Johns Hopkins University
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
USC Price School of Public Policy
Additional Trial Information
Status
In development
Start date
2021-01-15
End date
2021-12-31
Secondary IDs
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. 2020. "Assessing the Impact of Direct-to-Consumer Advertising (DTCA) on Consumer Behavior." AEA RCT Registry. December 10. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.6690-1.0.
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
Not available
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