Why are drug advertisements such a big problem?

Well, I've long thought that the big reason drug companies advertising directly to the consumer was such a bad idea was that it got people to go to their doctors, and ask for drugs. After all, pharmaceuticals cure all ills, right? Isn't that what the ads say?

My wife was talking to a business partner this evening about a drug (Xicam, maybe? I hadn't heard of it before). Apparently, it can cause loss of smell (that is, lack of detection of odors, not lack of causing; the latter would sell quite well, I'm thinking). This has been known for a while, but apparently not well known.

And I started thinking about why that would be. Well, it's a known problem with media consolidation that advertisers can affect stories told by the news. If you'd like to hear about a particularly disturbing case, get your hands on 'The Corporation', and find out how Fox argued (and won) a case in court proving that the news does not have any obligation to be truthful. Big surprise that it's Fox, right? But I'm sure that particular problem cuts across all the big media companies.

So, my point is, a second reason that drug companies advertising directly to the consumer is a double-plus-ungood thing: the companies have leverage to keep the news from reporting about problems with the drugs that are out there. *Yuck*

Oh, and the third reason: I'm really not looking forward to watching a football game, and having my preteen daughter asking me what an erection is. Yes, that's years off, but still...

No comments:

Post a Comment