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Monday, 09 July 2012 19:00

Analyzing the side effects of drug ads

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We have all heard television pharmaceutical ads marketing symptoms as well as drugs. Following these ads are a long list of potential side effects. The staggering fact is that a sizable number of viewers begin to connect with the symptoms. People can actually begin to develop symptoms simply from repetitious suggestions. Fear can be a major deciding factor.

“Ask your doctor if it’s right for you” the next common line. While the body might at times do strange things and sometimes presents similar symptoms to those being mentioned by these ads it is realized that a number of people will run to the doctor in fear after hearing/viewing the ad. One of the new health issues being marketed is shingles. Suddenly anyone who had chickenpox now needs the shingles vaccine, and guess what there are lots of people who are lining up to get their shots! Fear, fear, fear!  Of course pretty everyone will need the shot according to the marketers of the vaccine…most people have had chickenpox! Interesting article below.

By Julie Appleby, USA TODAY
A few times every week, patients ask Jim King about drugs they've seen advertised.

"They'll say, 'I saw this ad on TV, and I think I have this medical problem,' " says King, a family physician in Selmer, Tenn., who says he's not bothered by the requests. "It gives me an opportunity to talk with the patient. It's amazing how many don't have the problem" or need the drug they saw advertised.

Billy Tauzin, president of Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the industry's lobbying group, says the ads educate patients about diseases such as depression or diabetes and encourage them to see a doctor.

Doctors and health care analysts say those visits also prompt patients to seek the latest and often most expensive drug, helping to drive up spending on health care and raising questions about whether patients need those particular new medications.

Last modified on Monday, 09 July 2012 19:09


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