View Full Version : Ask your doctor about...
04-15-2003, 12:36 PM
Is there anything more frustrating than adverts for pharmaceuticals that tout the product name but not the ailment or symptoms for which it is prescribed? Daytime television adverts are no longer soap products, from whence the term soap opera is derived, but now it is a mismash of various pills and potions.
Yes I could search a PDR or google, but what about those without net access. Vioxx and Nexium are two of the latest offenders of this sort of marketing. I can watch people working in the garden or standing doing Tai Chi on a cliff all day long, but it does nothing to tell me what ailed them prior to the new wonder drug.
Even the latest one for Viagra doesn't address the issue. I guess though that one is better than Bob Dole talking about E.D.
WARNING This thread may cause vomiting, nausea, dizziness, heart palpitations, internal bleeding, ruptured organs, divorce, cross-eyes, and death.
04-15-2003, 01:03 PM
There is actually a reason for this. There is a federal law in effect that governs how pharmaceuticals are advertised. I am not sure about the details of the law (since I worked in medical device biotech, not pharm), but it goes something like this.
A manufacturer can
a) advertise a drug WITHOUT mentioning what it actually does. Just saying something like "ask your doctor if XYZ is right for you!"
b) if they advertise what is does (like helps alleviate allergy symptoms ), then they have to ALSO list ON THE AIR all the major side effects.
Hence the Claritin or Allegra ads (I forget which) with the woman running blissfully through a field of ragweed in full bloom, but no mention that the drug is good for seasonal allergies. And also the Zoloft bouncing sad ball ads, which does mention that Zoloft helps with the symptoms of depression BUT ALSO lists a rather terrifying large number of potential side effects. Usually they run type A ads when the drug is already fairly well known and just want to keep in the public eye, and they run type B ads when they want to begin establishing a market for a drug.
Probably more than you ever wanted to know about pharmaceutical ads. :) And the good news Flagger, is that once your babe comes, your daytime TV watching will mainly be limited to the Disney Channel and PBS which have no advertising. :)
04-15-2003, 02:18 PM
I can only imagine the look on my PCP's face if I asked him if Procrit was right me because the advert told me too.
(In order for Procrit to be right for me, I'd be severely anemic while receiving chemotherapy for cancer.)
But your point does make a great deal of sense.
04-15-2003, 02:26 PM
Well, the Procrit ads I have seen do say what it's for, but you are right about some others like Celebrex. I think it's sort of fun to try to guess what they are for, but it does seem pointless to have an ad for which no one has a clue why they would need the product!
Mom to James
04-15-2003, 02:30 PM
Ah, my bad the Procrit is on a billboard I see taking when I take Ms. Flagger to work.
04-15-2003, 02:40 PM
Oh I'm not defending the pharms, just shedding some light on the conundrum. :) They would LOVE to spead the word on how their products cure all that ails you without mentioning any potential downsides.
04-15-2003, 03:11 PM
Oh, I know, and I knew about the differing regs, too (from my brief stint in the industry). It is funny, though. What's also really interesting, but a whole other topic, is how different the ads are in other countries. I saw the previews for an ad campaign for hormone replacement therapy in Britain, and it starred a transvestite comedian. Quite different from the ads here! :)
Mom to James
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