08 November 2010

Direct to Consumer Advertising

Now that the political ads have stopped, it is interesting to see what Big Pharma is back to doing. Especially in the late evening hours. On the 11/4/10, my wife and I logged a baker's dozen drug ads in four hours. Then on 11/6/10, I have heard over 16 drug ads from 4:00 PM to 2:00 AM. Three of the ads were for asthma medications, two repeat ads for gout medication, four ads for cholesterol medications, and several other medications.

What got me started on this? A blog by R. Centor named medrants from October 31, 2010. He wrote from a doctors perspective, but I want to write from a patient point of view, specifically a diabetes perspective. Also my blog here had started my investigating and watching some blogs more closely.

In the US prior to 1985 this advertising was not legal. Prior to 1997, many restrictions kept direct to consumer advertising almost non-existent. Then in 1997 the Food and Drug Administration basically lifted the rule requiring the listing of the side effects, opening the flood gates for companies to use the advertising. The only other country allowing legal direct-to-consumer advertising is New Zealand.

I personally am not happy watching advertising for many of the drugs, Several have been pulled from the market because of harmful side-effects. And I know that the drugs they are advertising are the ones that are high-priced and need a lot of sales to recoup research and development quickly and then have a high profit margin.

These tactics need to be outlawed again to lower the cost of drugs. This will probably not happen with the amount of money being pumped into campaign coffers. It is a shame that this is allowed to go on as this only insures that consumer protection will become weaker and more dangerous. This is one of the reasons I chose to end the oral medications early and go on insulin.

The doctors know that if a medication has been advertised on TV that I probably will not be willing to use it. Actually, this tactic allows me to check out the side-effects and that means that I will probably not take it. I will never suggest to my doctors a medication that has been on TV. For some reason, I take a very unfavorable view of advertised medications.

These are the links where you can read more about direct to consumer advertising.
Site 1 and Site 2.

No comments:

Post a Comment