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It's time to ban DTC ads for medications in the US

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posted on Apr, 9 2018 @ 10:51 AM
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I was reading this article on WaPo talking about this massive class action lawsuit in Cleveland, Ohio against the pharmaceutical companies that sell opiates. Part of the lawsuit is addressing the deceptive methods used to advertise these products. Even one of the defendants of the case agrees there is a problem (keep in mind the other two are denying the allegations altogether):

Purdue Pharma, one of more than a dozen defendants in the case, has said it is “deeply troubled” by the crisis and “dedicated to being part of the solution.”


Most people watching the case have determined that a settlement WILL happen. It just remains to be seen if this will go to trial and jury and how much the settlement will be. Granted, the pharma companies want to "be part of the solution but not pay." Lol. Yeah right. Now there are a great many other factors are work leading to the opiate epidemic, but the heart of it all is the way the drug was advertised. Even the pharma companies are admitting that advertising tactics need to be changed (though I doubt any are calling for my change or would support it). Now, a caveat here, one of the chief problems with the advertising with opiates has more to do with their marketing towards doctors, but this issue got me thinking about drug marketing altogether and it seems like now would be a good time to address this awful awful practice.

DTC ads (or direct-to-consumer ads) are ads that sell you (the consumer) medication that jumps the doctor approach. Basically your tv is being your doctor instead of your actual doctor. This makes people go to their doctor and specifically ask for these medications even if you don't specifically need it. For those not in the know, DTC ads are illegal in all but 2 countries. BTW, you'll notice (if you click on my link) that the article I just linked here is talking about the FDA making DTC ads even more problematic.

That alone should be more than enough to tell you that these things should be banned, but the simple fact is that non-medical people aren't knowledgeable enough about diseases and medications to make these kinds of judgements. Marketing directly to them is straight up unethical.

It really surprises me that this isn't talked about more thoroughly on ATS. Do many not know about this practice? The pharma companies say that drug prices have to be high due to R&D research, but there are fully functioning R&D research labs in other countries with low costs. Let's be real here. One of the real reasons that drugs are at such a high cost in the States has to do with artificial demand created by marketing directly to consumers. Economics 101: as demand rises, price rises, while supply drops.
edit on 9-4-2018 by Krazysh0t because: (no reason given)




posted on Apr, 9 2018 @ 10:55 AM
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I strongly agree that’s a terribly shady business practice it’s like a advertisement for heroin. I know people who went the to the doctor for back pain and ended up addicted to OXY. These opioids ruin good lives.

a reply to: Krazysh0t



posted on Apr, 9 2018 @ 10:56 AM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t

I've never been a fan of the DtC ads for pharmaceuticals. I'm a fairly well educated individual and I certainly wouldn't want me prescribing these things to myself. I want someone who specializes in knowing the ins and outs of these things to assist me in making that decision.

Believe me, if you want to make medical decisions based on an AD then you have a whole other set of issues. There is a whole host of medical literature that needs to be perused just to know what the actual benefits and issues exist for these medications. A sixty second ad from a biased source should not be the basis for your self diagnosis.....
edit on 9-4-2018 by BomSquad because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 9 2018 @ 11:05 AM
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DTC ads (or direct-to-consumer ads) are ads that sell you (the consumer) medication that jumps the doctor approach. Basically your tv is being your doctor instead of your actual doctor.


So just ignore that prescription drugs can't be obtained without a doctors approval.

If those drugs could be bought over the counter. You might have an argument.

But they aren't.




Most people watching the case have determined that a settlement WILL happen.


And there it is.

What it's ALL about.

Fleecing someone with deep pockets.

Minus a cut off the top for the lawyers.



posted on Apr, 9 2018 @ 11:06 AM
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I never understood the point of prescription drug commercials. Most of the time if you show knowledge of drugs or pharmacology when discussing with your doctor what treatments would be best for you, you get labeled a drug seeker. And that gets emblazoned on your medical records which causes doctors to not treat you the same as everyone else.

Where are the people who just bring up drugs they'd like to try with their doctor? Is that even a thing?



posted on Apr, 9 2018 @ 11:20 AM
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Let's look deeper into this. We get a lot of ads here for Pharmaceuticals, in fact the number one expense of some pharma companies is direct to consumer propaganda. Ask your doctor if this drug is right for you.

Then comes the class action suits between the Pharma company advertisements. Making you believe you can join a class action suit if you are negatively effected by meds. Maybe you can get satisfaction and a hundred dollar settlement check on your twenty grand investment into the meds while the lawyers get rich and punish the pharma company. But some of these class action attorneys have direct and indirect ties to the pharma companies, partially owned or allied with them.

On top of that, the suits saw that pregnant mothers given this drug can have side effects that cause harm to the baby. No pregnant mother was even supposed to be given these meds because the information stated no pregnant women should be prescribed them. The Pharma company is not at risk, the doctor might be. But so, you are not pregnant so the med doesn't hurt you, you are safe with this med. What the class action suit does is to make you feel the medication is safe if you are not pregnant when in fact it causes kidney and liver failure if taken over a long time. So they made people look in the wrong direction with the class action lawsuit which basically has nobody in the group.

This is a common practice, shuffle a person's focus so they believe their side effects are not related to meds....even though it is written on the pamphlet you get from the pharmacy with the meds. Mixing of different meds can be risky too, no liability of the Pharma companies applies to mixing of different meds unless there is a known problem...then it is the doctors fault, not the Pharma company. Next, you have to prove the med caused the problem, that is extremely hard to do. so do not count on getting rich off a class action suit, count on lots of doctor bills trying to get evidence of a medicine derived side effect though...which probably will never happen. No doctor will say a med directly caused a side effect, they will have to go up against the best attorneys in the country.

I do not like the Pharma ads on tv. I do not like the class action ads that give people a false sense of security either.



posted on Apr, 9 2018 @ 11:27 AM
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originally posted by: neo96



DTC ads (or direct-to-consumer ads) are ads that sell you (the consumer) medication that jumps the doctor approach. Basically your tv is being your doctor instead of your actual doctor.


So just ignore that prescription drugs can't be obtained without a doctors approval.

If those drugs could be bought over the counter. You might have an argument.

But they aren't.




Most people watching the case have determined that a settlement WILL happen.


And there it is.

What it's ALL about.

Fleecing someone with deep pockets.

Minus a cut off the top for the lawyers.


The point is that people will go to their doctor to get the drugs regardless if they are the correct ones for them.

It clearly works on the companies wouldn't do it in the first place.

Drug prescriptions shouldn't be based round the effectiveness of advertising.



posted on Apr, 9 2018 @ 11:32 AM
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I agree with this.

Doctors should be telling patients what they need to take, not the other way around. Don't like what your doctor has to say? Get a second opinion.

Drug companies shouldn't be allowed to give kickbacks to docs either.



posted on Apr, 9 2018 @ 11:37 AM
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a reply to: ScepticScot




The point is that people will go to their doctor to get the drugs regardless if they are the correct ones for them.


Any liability falls on the doctor.

In fact ones never given me anything I've ever wanted.



posted on Apr, 9 2018 @ 11:51 AM
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I worked in a physicians office for a bit. I swear we had more drug reps than customers. lol all super good looking, with tickets to this event or that.. and, all but one of our doctors would drool over them - pathetic.



posted on Apr, 9 2018 @ 11:55 AM
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Im torn on this. I do believe that the ads for patients is wrong. But I also believe we should mystify medicine and exclude patients. I argue/debate with my doctor, and am quite active in my treatment plan.

That said...your average person has no need to ask a doctor about a pill they saw on TV. You should present symptoms to gain a diagnosis and first line treatment. That said... the doctors tend to be bought off by the pharmaceutical companies, and may not prescribe medications that are the most effective (or cost effective) due to this.



posted on Apr, 9 2018 @ 11:59 AM
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originally posted by: neo96
So just ignore that prescription drugs can't be obtained without a doctors approval.

If those drugs could be bought over the counter. You might have an argument.

But they aren't.

So? Doctors are still aware they exist. I learn about all the prescription drugs I need to take from my doctor. He knows better than myself. There is no good reason why commercials for drugs should exist.


And there it is.

What it's ALL about.

Fleecing someone with deep pockets.

Minus a cut off the top for the lawyers.

Do you HONESTLY think that the Pharma companies aren't responsible for the opiate epidemic?
edit on 9-4-2018 by Krazysh0t because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 9 2018 @ 12:00 PM
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a reply to: bigfatfurrytexan

There is no doubt that the pharma companies have a tighter grip on things than just with DTC ads, but if 99% of the world can get their drugs without being told about them on the TV then so can we.
edit on 9-4-2018 by Krazysh0t because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 9 2018 @ 12:02 PM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t

Fentanyl. That tells me all I need to know.

Essentially, folks are so resistant to opiates that (in order to have pain killing potential) the drug companies created opiates that are so strong that they are deadly in the smallest doses. The line between "therapeutic" and "overdose" is very narrow. Its a problem that results from 2 sources:

- drug companies pushing doctors to prescribe
- our own trysts in Afghanistan (ever notice that the drug problems mirror the war theaters...it was coke in the 80's)



posted on Apr, 9 2018 @ 12:07 PM
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a reply to: bigfatfurrytexan

Yeah the whole situation is F'd. Another good indicator are the Super Bugs out there appearing in hospitals. Because of over prescribed antibiotics, diseases that we had under control are coming back stronger than ever. It doesn't take a large leap in logic to come to the conclusion that this is due to DTC ads and people asking to be prescribed antibiotics just because they are sick.



posted on Apr, 9 2018 @ 12:18 PM
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originally posted by: bigfatfurrytexan
a reply to: Krazysh0t

Fentanyl. That tells me all I need to know.

Essentially, folks are so resistant to opiates that (in order to have pain killing potential) the drug companies created opiates that are so strong that they are deadly in the smallest doses. The line between "therapeutic" and "overdose" is very narrow. Its a problem that results from 2 sources:

- drug companies pushing doctors to prescribe
- our own trysts in Afghanistan (ever notice that the drug problems mirror the war theaters...it was coke in the 80's)


Well the real reason for fentanyl being developed by drug companies for use in pain management is that it's entirely synthetic. So it doesn't require poppy fields, extraction, import licenses for the opium, etc. It's way cheaper to produce than normal plant based opiates. So of course that's what they'll push on people.

But you're right about how dangerous it is. That anyone calling themselves a doctor thought an opiate that is so strong it's measured in micrograms was a good idea for pain management is crazy to me.



posted on Apr, 9 2018 @ 12:22 PM
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originally posted by: bigfatfurrytexan
Im torn on this. I do believe that the ads for patients is wrong. But I also believe we should mystify medicine and exclude patients. I argue/debate with my doctor, and am quite active in my treatment plan.

That said...your average person has no need to ask a doctor about a pill they saw on TV. You should present symptoms to gain a diagnosis and first line treatment. That said... the doctors tend to be bought off by the pharmaceutical companies, and may not prescribe medications that are the most effective (or cost effective) due to this.


Member Knoxie kind of verified that!

I watched a commercial the other day and it was for a drug for some ailment I can't remember but at the end I was blown away that they said taking it could cause DEATH! I was like WTF?

Yet we have an FDA who is stone walling people who are going to die regardless from taking experimental drugs?????
edit on 9-4-2018 by seeker1963 because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 9 2018 @ 12:28 PM
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ads on tv seem to reel off a two minute list of bad side effects getting the public used to the life ending possibilities.....one said my ass might fall off



posted on Apr, 9 2018 @ 12:28 PM
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a reply to: seeker1963

The "side effects" thing is kind of a misnomer required by the FDA. Example: i take Humira. One of its side effects is a rare form of lymphoma.

It happened 1 time in trials. SO now its listed as a side effect. The dude probably already had it.



posted on Apr, 9 2018 @ 12:31 PM
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originally posted by: GBP/JPY
ads on tv seem to reel off a two minute list of bad side effects getting the public used to the life ending possibilities.....one said my ass might fall off

This is one of my favorite Jeff Foxworthy bits"



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