SELLING PRESCRIPTION DRUGS WITH TV COMMERCIALS

This commercial is only 42 seconds. Please watch it before reading the article.

Since the average American watches over 6 hours of TV on a daily basis, it makes sense for large corporations to advertise their products on TV. Those with the most convincing ads will gain the support and spending dollars of the consumer. This is why billions of dollars are spent on TV advertising.
When it comes to prescription medication, the consumer cannot directly buy the advertised product (prescription drug). The consumer is not trained on the drug, its interactions with other substances and the research behind the efficacy of the drug. So why are so many dollars spent on advertising all of these drugs, when the consumer can’t directly buy the product from the pharmacist. It almost seems insulting to the medical field that they are not capable of prescribing medications to their patients without the consumer making recommendations. A 30-60 second commercial cannot possibly educate the consumer with enough information (including side effects) to validate the need for this “public service.”
The only reason drug companies participate in this advertising is to pressure the medical field to prescribe these drugs to their patients. Most patients would consider an office visit a “waste of time” if it did not conclude with some type of injection or prescription. Doctors spend many years diligently studying health and disease to learn what is in the patient’s best interest. The problem is, health care is a business. If one doctor tells a patient to change their diet and exercise, and another doctor prescribes a weight loss pill, both are providing a service. How many patients do you think would return to the doctor recommending diet and exercise? It becomes a dilemma. Should the doctor prescribe a medication that he or she believes is unneccessary to make the patient happy?
TV commercials increase this pressure on doctors. The consumer laughs at the side effects. The belief is, “if the drug was that dangerous, it wouldn’t be on the market.” Well, it is that dangerous! You will notice many more attorney’s advertising class action law suits against pharmaceutical companies resulting from “wrongful deaths and injuries.” Remember, health care is a business. If your product makes BILLIONS and you have to pay out a few million in compensation for “wrongful deaths and injuries”, you have a SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS MODEL. Is profit at the expense of human suffering ever justifiably?
The following is one example of all the side effects of the drug ABILIFY. It is an anti-psychotic medication that alters brain chemistry. The active ingredient is aripiprazole. It is important to realize these symptoms have been REPEATEDLY experienced to mandate the listing as a side effect. You do not have to read the entire list. Feel free to scroll through just to see how many negative side effects have occurred. They are all in RED lettering.

Difficulty with speaking, drooling, loss of balance control, death, stroke, dangerously elevated blood sugar,muscle trembling, jerking, or stiffness, restlessness, shuffling walk, stiffness of the limbs, twisting movements of the body, uncontrolled movements, especially of the face, neck, and back, Blurred vision, dizziness, headache, inability to move the eyes, increased blinking or spasms of the eyelid, nervousness, pounding in the ears, slow or fast heartbeat, sticking out the tongue, trouble with breathing or swallowing, unusual facial expressions, convulsions, fast heartbeat, high fever, high or low blood pressure, increased sweating, lip smacking or puckering, loss of bladder control, muscle spasm or jerking of all extremities, puffing of the cheeks, rapid or worm-like movements of the tongue, severe muscle stiffness, sudden loss of consciousness, tiredness, uncontrolled chewing movements, uncontrolled movements of the arms and legs, unusually pale skin hives or welts, itching, or skin rash, itching, puffiness, or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue, large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs, redness of the skin, tightness in the chest, unusual tiredness or weakness Symptoms of overdose bigger, dilated, or enlarged pupils (black part of the eye), diarrhea, fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat or pulse, increased sensitivity of the eyes to light, lack or loss of strength, nausea, sleepiness or unusual drowsiness, vomiting Symptoms of initial use acid or sour stomach, anxiety, belching, blurred vision, difficulty having a bowel movement (stool), dry mouth, fear, fever, headache, heartburn, hyperventilation, inability to sit still indigestion, irritability, lightheadedness, need to keep moving, nervousness, rash, runny nose, shaking, sleeplessness, sore throat, stomach discomfort, upset, or pain, trouble sleeping, unable to sleep, weight gain, accidental injury, bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet, body aches or pain, congestion, coughing, difficulty with moving, dryness or soreness of throat, hoarseness, increased appetite, increased salivation, joint pain, muscle aching or cramping, muscle pains or stiffness, rapid weight gain, sneezing, stuffy nose, swollen joints, tender, swollen glands in the neck, tingling of the hands or feet, tremor, unusual weight gain or loss, voice changes.

These side effects are only for ONE DRUG. TV commercials only provide a partial listing. If the manufacturers were required to provide this “in your face” reality, on ALL PRESCRIPTIONS and OVER THE COUNTER DRUGS do you think profits might be affected? 
My solution to this advertising problem is the mute button on your TV remote. Let’s send a message to the pharmaceutical companies stating we have confidence in our doctors, their education and their experience. We want our doctors using their best judgement when working WITH US to achieve a relationship that teaches the conditions necessary to develop better control over our lives. Pharmaceuticals are sometimes indicated to overcoming certain plateaus. Once achieved, drugs should be weened so the patient can achieve optimal health by living a healthier lifestyle. Naturally, there are some health conditions that require lifelong pharmaceutical intervention. Achieving and maintaining optimal health is a lifelong journey. We don’t need TV commercials reinforcing a false message that “healthy minds and healthy bodies” can only be achieved with prescriptive medications.
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6 comments

  1. Howto$tuffYourPig · · Reply

    Six hours of television? That alone would have me taking prescription drugs! You are so right about how the pharmaceutical companies are marketing their products to individuals they know won’t do the research. Some people just want a quick fix to their health issues instead of modifying their lifestyles. The side effects are downright scary when you listen closely to the ads. People need to become their own health advocates. Doctors provide an incredible service, but we also need to take responsibility for our own health.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with you completely. I hope this article creates additional awareness of the true dangers associated with the “side effects” of drugs. If we recognize that lifestyle changes could save the consumer a great deal of pain and expense they might choose better options.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a very informative article, and I agree wholeheartedly.

    Like

    1. Glad you had a chance to review the article. I hope articles like this help motivate people to realize the options available to them. People have the right to make any decision they are comfortable with. I’m just not sure, they are provided all the choices available which is required under informed consent.

      I look forward to hearing your opinions in future postings.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The first time I heard this commercial, I noticed the long depressing list of side effects and wondered why anyone would take this?

    Like

    1. The answer is because people don’t believe it. In their minds, if these side effects were real, the drug would be taken off the market. If they do accept these side effects, they believe it will happen to someone else. Those with the greatest real concerns take responsibility for their health and look for healthy conservative measures as a first line of defense against pain and disease.

      Thank you for taking the time to read my article. I’ll bet you will be surprised at some of the other articles I have written as well.

      Like

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