Seniors' perceptions of prescription drug information sources

Denise E. Delorme, Jisu Huh, Leonard N. Reid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


To determine how seniors evaluate, compare, and use prescription drug information sources, provide insight on perceptions of the credibility, trustworthiness, and value of these sources, and capture verbatim comments for translation into scalar statements in future surveys. A total of 25 in-depth interviews were conducted with US seniors age 65 or older. The transcripts were analyzed using an interpretative approach. Informants distinguish between sources on the dimension of credibility; place the most trust in physicians but since they tend to experience a lack of time and attention from them, mass media seem to fill an information gap; and direct-to-physician promotions appear to have an indirect influence on patients' perceived credibility of and interaction with physicians. The findings suggest that identification of key sources should consider two factors: frequency of access/utilization and trust in information provided by the source. The findings also provide empirically-grounded statements for future scale development. The results suggest that for multi-media campaign effectiveness: advertising for a new drug may be most effective on TV but as a brand enters growth or maturity, print may be a better option; marketers should emphasize print in the direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising media mix; sampling strategies should be coordinated with product packaging literature and emphasized to promote trial; and marketers should attempt to increase internet usage among seniors and utilize the medium more actively but avoid online advertising. The findings contribute to knowledge on the responsiveness of US seniors to DTC advertising and other prescription drug information sources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-127
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 3 2007


  • Advertising
  • Consumers
  • Decision making
  • Elderly people
  • Information searches
  • Qualitative research


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