posted on May, 16 2006 @ 08:54 AM
Why Is There So Much TV Advertising by the Pharmaceuticals?
It seems in the past few years that half the ads on tv are paid for by the pharmacy companies. What’s up here?
First, the average layman cannot spell ‘hypertension’ nor does he or she know what ‘ED’ stands for, or know the signs of erectile dysfunction.
Well, for the brighter among us, the very name “erectile” tends to suggest the answer. But my point is this, even if I do have heartburn too
often, I cannot write a prescription to cure it that any self respecting pharmacist would fill. Not if he valued his license to dispense drugs.
Next, it was just a couple years ago that tv ads were advising patients to “shop around” for prices to help keep the cost of medicine American
style, affordable. As if you could call the local hospital and ask for the manager, then bargain over the price of a room. A hospital is not the
Holiday Inn, where also not much bargaining is encouraged either. So who thinks up these goofy ads? Advising otherwise intelligent people to engage
in the impossible? To self-diagnose, to self-prescribe and to self-bargain with your provider?
Like, my dermatologist - he used to be just a skin doctor - charges $42 for an office call. Anything he does is extra. Like “freezing” an ugly
mole off my body. Ouch! That liquid nitrogen hurts when applied directly to my skin! I wonder if the Oberfuhrer knows that? If I was on the
Anti-Torture Watch, I’d check the supply manifests to Guantanamo Bay for bottled nitrogen. Just an idea.
So am I to walk in and say, “Hello, Doc. Would you do this office call for $35 if pay in cash?” Most likely, he’d call the police to remove a
disorderly person from the premises. Or, if your appendix is about to rupture, do you ask the surgeon, “How much, Doc?” Do you ask the
anesthetist if there is an equally effective but cheaper generic anaesthetic he or she could use? Or, do you want the very best darn surgeon and the
most effective aesthetic in the known world? And leave the pricing to the professionals? Albeit unregulated.
So, to rephrase my question, why are pharmaceuticals spending so much money on “public service” advertising? Merck’s current ad says they want
to do better. Hmm? Better than what? Better than they have done in the past? Make more money? Or make more drugs?
You know, I know, tv ads are not cheap. You know, I know, ad buyers expect something back for the money. Perchance is this a coordinated propaganda
campaign masterminded by the PMA - Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association - to keep down the American’s curiosity why medicines made in Ireland
under an American label cost 4 X in America, than in say, Germany or Mexico? What’s up here?
What's your take?
[edit on 5/16/2006 by donwhite]