The Effects of Drug Advertising on Consumer Health Behavior

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Presently, Ghana is characterized by various forms of drug (medication) adverts through various media, even though the Food and Drugs Board frowns on some of these adverts. This study seeks to examine the effects of drug (medication) advertising on consumer health behaviors using primary data. The convenient sampling method was used to administer questionnaires and a sample size of 500 respondents was used. The Logit regression model was used to analyze the data gathered and both descriptive and quantitative methods were used to interpret the results. The study revealed that drug advertising does not have any significant impact on exercise, consumption of healthy diet, and medical check-ups. The case of dissociation from high risk behaviors was the only health behavior that drug advertising affected significantly. The study showed that, drug advertising encouraged people to engage in risky health behaviors. On the other hand, drug advertising impacted positively on the demand for drugs and self-medication. This implies that, Ghanaians engage in high risk behaviors, purchase drugs, and self-medicate as a result of drug advertising. Health insurance also impacted negatively on the demand for drugs but insignificant. The study recommends that, food and drugs board should enforce laws concerning the advertisement of drugs. The Ghana health service should also skew advertisement to the essence of engaging in healthy behaviors instead of consuming medication and there should be proper monitoring of the activities of pharmaceutical companies to enhance the Ghana health system.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Economics, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of MASTER OF PHYLOSOPHY in Economics.