Twenty centers accounted for 86% of spending; one for-profit center accounted for 59% of spending
THURSDAY, July 14, 2016 (HealthDay News) — From 2005 to 2014 there was an increase in cancer center advertising expenditures, with the greatest relative growth in spending seen for internet display advertisements, according to a research letter published online July 11 in JAMA Internal Medicine.
Laura B. Vater, M.P.H., from Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis, and colleagues conducted a descriptive analysis of cancer center advertising expenditures from Jan. 1, 2005, to Dec. 31, 2014. Data were obtained from Kantar Media.
The researchers found that 890 cancer centers in the United States advertised to the public from 2005 to 2014, with total advertising spending reaching $173 million in 2014. Inflation-adjusted spending increased for all types of advertising, with the greatest relative growth in spending seen for internet display advertisements, which increased from less than 1 percent to 5 percent of total advertising spending from 2005 to 2014. Twenty cancer centers accounted for 86 percent of total advertising spending in 2014, five of which were for-profit centers. The largest advertising expenditures (59 percent of total advertising spending by cancer centers) were seen for Cancer Treatment Centers of America, a for-profit center.
“For some patients and families, cancer center advertising may constitute a major source of information, raising concerns in view of evidence that the content of some advertising lacks balance,” the authors write. “The effect of cancer center advertising on the quality and costs of cancer care should be better understood.”
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