Direct-to-consumer advertising DTCA for prescription drugs has been an ongoing, contentious issue in the United States. Despite oversight from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration FDA, and a call from the American Medical Association AMA to ban DTCA, pharmaceutical manufactures continue to spend over six billion dollars annually on consumer-facing television, print, and internet advertising.1,2 This educational initiative brings together librarians and archivists from Weill Cornell Medicines WCM Samuel J Wood Library and pharmacists from New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell to create an asynchronous interactive webpage-based online workshop on historical and modern methods of pharmaceutical advertising, enduring issues in medication regulation and safety, and the ongoing importance of patient engagement, advertising & medication literacy. Created using the Drupal content management platform, the workshop website will be hosted within the WCM Librarys webpage and will feature text narratives, video vignettes, timelines, and images, including exposure to digitized 19th century historical medical trade cards and interactive guided analysis of modern advertising practices. Insights and imagery drawn from WCMs archival collections will be juxtaposed against those found in modern day pharmaceutical advertisements. This digital content will culminate with resources to bolster participants advertising and medication literacy including, presenting key questions consumers should ask when viewing medication advertisements, reputable consumer-focused online drug information sources from the National Library of Medicine NLM and the FDA, and methods to facilitate discussions with their 126, pharmacist, or librarian.

Project Details

Organization Name

Weill Cornell Medical College

Organization Type
Academic institution
Health sciences library
Project Lead

Keith Mages

New York
Start Date
June 9, 2020
End Date
April 30, 2021
Funding Amount
General Public
Health care Provider
Library or Information Professional
Student, College & Post-grad
Adults (19-64 yrs.)
Adults (19-64 yrs.)
Seniors (65+ yrs.)
Blacks/African Americans
Asians/Asian Americans