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Old 11-02-2008, 08:03 PM   #1
jrrtoken
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Drugs and Advertising.

I don't know if it's a problem anywhere outside the U.S., but over here, on almost every TV station, there's constantly advertisements for prescription drugs. I was watching the nightly news program on NBC tonight, and there were at least one or two drug advertisements in every commercial break.

Of course, most of them are for Viagra, Cialis, Levitra or some other "natural" male enhancement cure-all. Other times I see ads for anti-depressants, prostate shrinkers, birth control pills, osteoporosis drugs, etc., etc. You can tell from the quality of the ads that they are extremely expensive. Another observation is that every drug commercial often has some "doctor" explaining the drug's side effects to his "patient", and it seems that this doctor seems to be reciting them verbatim. Often these ads have some "mascot" of sorts, almost like beer ads from the 50's and 60's.

The point is, are the drug companies taking advertising too far? Should the government somehow intervene with how much pharmaceutical corporations spend on advertising? Should the government limit corporate advertising as a whole?
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Old 11-02-2008, 08:44 PM   #2
Jae Onasi
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The 'doctor' reciting side effects verbatim was a requirement put in place by the gov't after the drug companies started advertising a lot. The drug companies, of course, complied, albeit grudgingly.

The drug companies advertise because it makes them money. A lot of money. Patients see the ads and when they go into their docs, they ask for those by name (I've had patients ask me for specific brands of contacts that they've seen on TV or in print ads, for instance), and the doc is more inclined to write the Rx for that specific drug if it's indicated for that patient's condition. That ends up costing all of us more when we have to pay for these prescriptions, however. Note that doctors don't get money from prescribing certain companies' drugs--in fact the gov't has some very strict rules in place on what kinds of things drug companies can even hand out at conventions or in meetings at docs' offices (we're lucky if we get a cheap pen at a conference).

The one thing that is beneficial about these ads is it's made it easier for patients to talk about certain subjects with their docs (erectile dysfunction, mental illness, and other sensitive subjects), and it's educated people on some important subjects like osteoporosis and menopause.


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Old 11-02-2008, 08:49 PM   #3
Arcesious
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I remember one commerical that was advertising something I think is too dangerous to use... It was some sort of new inhaler medicine, and one of the side effects was "may increase risk of asthma related death."


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Old 11-02-2008, 09:08 PM   #4
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I think that they are really annoying about the ~1,000,000 time.

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Old 11-02-2008, 11:26 PM   #5
Jae Onasi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcesious View Post
I remember one commerical that was advertising something I think is too dangerous to use... It was some sort of new inhaler medicine, and one of the side effects was "may increase risk of asthma related death."
It's the drug Advair, and it's not very new, it's been around for a few years. It's used to treat asthma, actually. Some people don't react well to the medication, and stopping certain asthma medications abruptly (such as this one) can cause asthma to flare up, hence the 'may increase risk of asthma related death'. The risk for that happening is exceedingly small, but since death is a rather significant event, they have to mention it in the ad.


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