Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Drug Ads-Illness of the Month

One reason President George Bush is so beholdin' to the pharmaceutical industry may be because their drug ads on TV and in magazines are keeping this economy going. If those ad revenues stopped, we might see some major broadcasting networks shutting down their lights. The next time you are watching prime time TV, just notice how many ads are for pharmaceuticals or medical devices that require a prescription. There is even a new ad (shown over and over on American Idol) that advertises a new knee replacement device made "only for women".

A new study shows that prescription drug advertising on television is rarely educational, and mostly uses emotional appeals to entice consumers. According to Internal Medicine News, Dr. Dominick Frosch, Ph.D at UCLA, analyzed ads shown during prime time on the 4 major networks and found seven of the top ten bestselling drugs. 95% of the ads showed characters who were happy and some were practically ecstatic after taking the product.

These direct to consumer marketing ads can distort and inflate consumers' expectations about what prescriptions drugs can accomplish. When physicians are surveyed about these ads, they are overwhelmingly negative and against them. But the pharmaceutical industry knows that they work and sales soar after an ad campaign. Every day a patient shows up in the office requesting a certain drug that she saw on TV. "What about that new sleeping pill that is supposed to REALLY work!" Most of these prescription drugs don't have a generic equivalent so the consumer will pay dearly for being enticed.

Prediction - A woman will definitely win American Idol



Toni ... Amen on the drug companies.
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