Pharmaceutical Commercials – An Enemy in the REAL War On Drugs

Let me preface this argument with the notion that pharmaceutical drugs in and of themselves are neither good nor evil – many lives have been saved because of pharmaceutical drugs. The pills themselves have not hurt my feelings or caused my outrage, considering that they are inanimate objects.

Now that I have the PC out of the way, let’s get to some real talk about the pharmaceutical industry – it’s killing American culture and Americans themselves. Since this a capitalist nation (that’s a good thing), consumers have to be responsible, and if you really want to fight in the supposed “War On Drugs”, you’d better start by paying attention to these misleading and often tasteless and offensive pharmaceutical commercials.

First of all, doctors are supposed to prescribe drugs – shouldn’t they be watching commercials about pharmaceutical drugs? Why would I need to see a commercial about medication that I can’t go out and get myself?

The answer is so that a nation full of hypocondriacs and jellybacks can diagnose themselves and line the pockets of both doctors and pharmaceutical companies. Although there are millions of people who truly are suffering from both physical and mental illnesses, there are millions more who are convinced that they have conditions that they really do not have or need drugs that they really do not need. Furthermore, EVERYTHING is a disease now. Obesity is now a disease (as opposed to one just being fat), kids who need discipline (and Jesus) automatically have ADHD, and anyone who feels the pressures of life gets a happy pill (otherwise known as antidepressants).

When people go to their doctors demanding treatments that they may or may not need, yellow-bellied physicians often give in and prescribe medications that they know patients could live without. When overzealous pill-pushers tell you that you have to have such-and-such medicine to live, since you saw the commercial on television and everyone was smiling in it, you go ahead and okay the treatment without a second thought or a second opinion.

This is NOT good for people who don’t take their futures into their own hands.

But the phamraceutical companies cover their butts well; the fine print and the guy who mumbles really fast at the end of the commercial give you the ugly truth about these drugs. For instance, Advair, a popular asthma medication, tells you as the actors are smiling and living stress-free lives that there are serious side effects connected with Advair usage, INCLUDING ASTHMA-RELATED DEATH!!! OMG, why would I want to take an asthma medication that has been known to cause asthma-related DEATH?

I would have to be awfully desperate, or a poor schmuck who doesn’t pay enough attention to what’s going on around me.

Melody Petersen, author of OUR DAILY MEDS: HOW THE PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES TRANSFORMED THEMSELVES INTO SLICK MARKETING MACHINES AND HOOKED THE NATION ON PRESCRIPTION DRUGS, exposes how marketing, not science, is the real drive behind drug trials, lectures, and promotion.

And I don’t even have the time to get into how disgusting some of the commercials are due to the nature of the conditions that they treat. Your erectile dysfunction and herpes are your own business, and if you need medication for those conditions, you most certainly know how to get them on your own. The problem is that genital herpes and erectile dysfunction can be successfully treated by other means, and pharmaceutical companies want you to believe that they cannot.

Furthermore, (as my husband pointed out – I promised I’d give him credit for the blurb) the genital herpes/warts commercials let people know that if you get a life-changing disease like HERPES, instead of slowing down and thinking about your lifestyle you should get doped up and get right back in the game! There are no consequences for your actions now – have unprotected sex as much as you want because if you get herpes, you can still lead a normal life. The fear of disease is eased by the availability of medications that will supress the symptoms. It’s almost like you never contracted it – you can ride bikes with your uninfected lover and pedal off into the sunset with no problem. That’s EXACTLY the mentality I wanted my children to grow up with. Thanks a lot 🙂

 

And by the way, as I was writing this, a Levitra (ED pill) commercial aired and quietly let me know that SEVERE INJURY and VISION OR HEARING LOSS can come as a result of taking this stuff, all while the gorgeous older guy lovingly dotes over his (assumed) wife to reassure me that this is okay to talk about and okay to treat because even studs and stallions have a little trouble getting the plumbimg to work properly sometimes.

HELLOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

 

But hey – it’s their right to market to you any way they can. It’s therefore your responsibility not to be a dope and take their dope just because they tell you it will be alright.

I’m a pretty healthy person, but I have to say that pharmaceutical commercials make me sick.

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7 Comments »

  1. Steven Snead said

    I agree with everything in this blog 100%, imagine that?

    The only caveat I would offer is that in a battle between Big Pharma marketing and individual consumers, despite one’s level of personal responsibility, Big Pharma will win everytime… well at least in the early rounds. When my Granny became fatally ill for 8 months, my family and I learned so much about her condition and which drugs were available to treat her conditions. Had we known what we knew at the end of the process, we wouldn’t have gone along with a number of the drugs the doctors put her on.

    I have a friend working in Pharma Sales and that friend says that BigPharma is no joke. Millions of dollars in market research, product placement, marketing campaigns, you name it. In fact, until recently, doctors who played by BigPharma’s playbook got treated to golf trips, fancy vacations, and lavish personal gifts. What is perhaps even more sickening is that it is common knowledge that many sales reps cross sexually unethical lines with doctors to get them to prescribe their products. Ewww.

    So, though I’m as big a capitalist as the next guy or gal, I believe in reasonable regulation in the drug industry to protect consumers. I for one am glad that they have to say, “Asthma Related Death.” in the commercials. I think drug testing should be tougher before a product hits the market. If a drug is found to be harmful to consumers, the company should be held accountable. And finally, all those ED commercials need to be broadcast late night when the kiddies are in bed!!

    But Ivo, let’s keep it real. BigPharma and the Republican party are walking lockstep in Washington for each other. I doubt BigPharma has a bigger friend in DC than the GOP. Perhaps President-Elect Obama will do something about this in his second term. 🙂

  2. The General said

    Steven, you never cease to amaze me!

    We agreed – 100% even! Yay! There is hope!

    Then you spoiled my fun. You had to go and blame Republicans for all the ills in the world, AGAIN…

    sigh…

    I’ll save that circular argument for another forum, but I will say, again, that as sick as Big Pharma makes me, they have every right to dupe those who will be duped by their slick marketing. As long as the mumbling guy and the fine print are there, they are “blameless”, so to speak.

    And while I sympathize with what happend with your grandmother (my parents are elderly, so I know a bit about such things), had the idea of researching health options and getting second and even third opinions been a way of life, much more may have been done sooner.

    That’s why I’m here – to help some poor schmuck change the way he thinks about who’s responsible for his wellbeing and his future so that he doesn’t get screwed.

  3. Midnight said

    Okay so why did I just hear a flomax commercial that one of the side effects was an increase in seamen!!!!!!!!! Im sorry,who tested for that as a side effect? LOL aite so spray this in your nose for your allergies and then masturbate into this napkin and lets see the results LOL

    this is utterly ridiculous, I have heard about some of the perks that doctors get for prescribing a particular companies product but I sincerely hope that that hippocratic oath they took means more than a cruise. Cause If the product works and the cruise makes you choose one well qualified product over the other then thats fine. But if you are prescribing unproven medicine for ulterior motives and the stuff doesnt work or makes it worse we are in BIG trouble.

    I disagree that “they have every right to dupe those who will be duped by their slick marketing” because some people just dont know any better, and should we allow people to make money off the mentally insufficient cause they have a catchy commercial? (whistles Viva Viagara)

    Hypochondriacs are prone to take to these commercials, and that is a real condition, and why should we allow them to pray on these people? Thats like advertising cocaine alternatives, like instead of going to an NA meeting, try xerocaine. It will help you stop using cocaine as long as you continue to take it, FOREVER. So you transfer from an illegal drug to a legal one, that is not any healthier, causes the same dependencies, except a bigpharm gets your money instead of a street pharm LOL. This stuff has to stop!!!!

  4. The General said

    Midnight, you are HILARIOUS!!!

    LOL!!!

    But the problem is that these companies really do have the right to be slick. It’s kind of messed up, sure, but if we get the government to regulate too much it will begin to infringe upon our rights and freedoms that aren’t actually hurting other people, too.

    Government regulations, when kept to a minimum, are good. But with all of our rights come responsibilities, one of which is to beware of those who may not have our best interests at heart. I personally believe that family, religous, and social organizations should do more to help vulnerable citizens understand their options when it comes to health care, education, etc. As a matter of fact, the orgs we belong to are supposed to exist for such a reason.

    Everybody in the world isn’t nice or good. Few are truly ethical. If you’re not careful, you will “get got”. That’s why soldiers like you and I exist – for the sake of those who will hear us and say, “Wow, I never looked at it that way before.”

    If we cry loud and take care of our own, very few would ever be taken advantage of.

    Well, that’s what I believe 🙂

  5. Midnight said

    Thats true. Somebody gotta look out for the gullable, Massai Warrior reporting for duty once again general!

  6. The General said

    😀

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