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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

About FDA

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Focus Group Reports on Consumer Perceptions of Prescription Drug Communications

FDA conducted a two-phase focus group study to develop a series of short, tagline messages that aim to provide consumers with the context they may need to have a better understanding of more complicated risk benefit information, and therefore enable better prescription drug decisions.

Phase 1 focus groups were conducted in the Spring of 2010 as formative research to provide critical information needed about target audiences. The focus groups explored consumers’ general impression of prescription drugs, beliefs about risks and benefits, and sources of new risk information. FDA used the Phase 1 Report in its development of draft messages.

Phase 2 focus groups were conducted in the Fall of 2011 to pretest the messages. The focus groups provided real consumer reactions that enabled FDA to refine the messages and improve its likelihood of successfully communicating with intended audiences. Appendix D of the Phase 2 Report provides FDA's interpretation of general findings that can be applied to future communications, as well as its conclusion on how to refine each of the 18 tested messages.