Prescription Drug Boxed Warnings: Impact on Firms, Physicians, and Patients
Boxed warnings, often referred to as “black box warnings”, are the strongest labeling warnings on the prescription drug label. They appear on about a third of drugs, yet how well they work as a risk-management tool is not well understood. In this session we will explore the impact they have on patient and physician behavior as well as some of the mechanisms through which such impact ensues. The first paper looks at the impact of a specific boxed warning on prescribing of antidepressants and its interaction with other sources of information. The second paper takes a look at what physician characteristics may influence which physicians change behavior in response to boxed warnings. The third paper explores one mechanism that may lead physicians to change behavior: a readjustment of physician marketing strategy by firms directly affected by such warnings or competing with firms facing new boxed warnings. These papers will help to further advance the understanding of boxed warnings impact, which in turn may help policymakers and drug companies design better risk communication strategies.