MMeM, Vol.12 Issue 46 – Wait, what?

Tell your doctor IF you…

You know TV commercials for pharmaceuticals right? They started years ago after a devil like deal with the powers that be in which drug companies were granted the right to pitch their wares on TV as long as they disclosed the litany of possible risks and complications. Subsequently, today we are subjected to never ending commercials for everything from ED, to Cholesterol lowering, to blood thinners, to eczema clearing, to acne fighting cure-alls ad nauseum.

It goes on, and on, and on. I don’t know who is more irritated by these ads or who gets more out of them. Are doctors now suffering from sore orbital sockets from all of their eye-rolling with their backs turned while washing their hands and listening to their next patient go on about the latest drug they learned about while watching American Ninja Warrior? Or is it those of us who rely on years of educated medical doctors’ sound advice who don’t rely on TV for diagnosis and Rx recommendations?

The other day I saw a commercial for Harvoni, a cure for Hep-C, and I was stunned by the voiced over cautions amidst the pretty and serene pictures. “Tell your doctor if you’ve had a LIVER TRANSPLANT or if you have HIV or AIDS” (Cue the record scratch here please). Ok, IF you have to tell YOUR doctor anything like those 2 things then THEY ARE NOT YOUR DOCTOR. They are in fact, THE DOCTOR you are trying to get a script out of that you just met for the first time.

The list of suggested things to “tell your doctor” went on and then the list of possible side effects when taking with certain heart medications were rattled off, including possible death.

My takeaway from this practice is if you consider all of the other advertising that goes on during television commercials, aren’t there a lot of products that could stand to offer a bit more all inclusive disclosure like those which drug companies have to adhere?





*Please drink responsibly*

No, maybe they’ve got that covered. They said please.

MMeM, Vol.10 Issue 15 – Rx advertising~

Ask your doctor blah blah blah.

The other day while watching some of March Madnesses best, I suddenly stopped to think about how many commercials there were for medicines. It got me thinking. And that, is NeVeR a very good thing.

Seems that it has been legal to advertise for medicines on Television since 1962 really, with many adjustments. The one new regulation in 1997 required that medicine commercials list possible side effects, etc. That got me wondering, how many side effects does a person actually remember and better yet, how many can match a possible side effect to a particular drug? This new regulation marked the day the dam broke in terms of TV Drug advertisting, i.e. TV DRUG Commercials, in my humble opinion.

We’ve all heard about “snake oil salesmen” and “remedies” that can cure just about anything. So, we had the “Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906”, the formation of the FDA in 1927 to regulate the sale and advertising of Rx drugs while the FTC was to handle “over-the-counter” products. The department of the FDA to do that regulating is called, (drumroll please)…. “FDA’s Office of Medical Policy Division of Drug Marketing, Advertising, and Communications (DDMAC). Yeah, doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue does it?

The thing I wonder is how successful would this Direct-to-Consumer advertising of medicines be if possible side effects weren’t just listed but had beautifully crafted works of visual art showing them like is used in a medicine’s good effects, like two people holding hands in two bathtubs?

Well, we all know that won’t happen because one thing that is for sure is that Direct-to-Consumer advertising works. “Ask you doctor…, blah, blah, blah”. People remember things, in a BIG way. Or, if listing it out with an auctioneer’s voice is effective then leave it all alone. So, can you name this medicine?

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I don’t know about you, but I call that list of side effects, “Tuesday”.