Recent study shows majority of most advertised brand-name drugs provide low therapeutic value

By Regence
January 25, 2023
prescription pill bottles

Your prescribing provider and health plan can help you find more affordable care options

Anyone who watches TV has likely seen one or more prescription drug commercials that seem to air 24/7. You may be surprised to learn, however, that many of those ads are selling medications with little-to-no benefit when compared to other treatments.

In a study published by JAMA Network Open, researchers found that fewer than one third of drugs commonly marketed on TV in the United States are considered to be high-value care. The study looked at the top-advertised drugs and advertisements from 2015 to 2021 for a final cohort of 81 drugs.

Of the $22 billion spent on TV ads for those specific medications, $16 billion went toward advertising drugs considered “low benefit” by the researchers. It’s important to remember that just because a medication is heavily advertised doesn’t mean it’s the best option for your health or your wallet.

Prevent sticker shock: Shop pharmacy and medication options for the best price

Providers who prescribe medications may not be aware of all available options, so your health plan can be another great resource. Regence’s team of pharmacists and doctors review all medications to ensure our members have access to the highest value therapies.

Members can sign in at to look up medications for different conditions, working with their provider to make the best treatment plan. We can also connect members with specially trained pharmacists to review medications for common interactions, safety concerns and cost-saving options.

While signed in, you can also learn about your health plan benefits, as well as live chat and message our Customer Service team. We’re also available to help by calling the phone number on your Regence member ID.