Monday, October 23, 2006

Sick of TV Prescription Drug Ads Disorder

Sunday morning the CBS morning show did a story on one way that drug companies market new prescription drugs to consumers. According to the story, when drug companies have a new drug that they want to market for a particular disease or disorder, they hire ad agencies to come up with a new name for the disorder--something that is palateable to the consumers, a nice acronym that consumers feel comfortable using with their doctors, like ED (erectile disfunction) instead of impotence. On the story, the ad agency team was trying to come up with a new name for arthritis. One suggestion was PJD--progressive joint degeneration. I'd be willing to bet that we start hearing that one on TV commercials very soon.

I have very mixed feelings about all this. On the one hand, I am glad that I can do research and find out what might be wrong with me so that I can, along with my doctor, make an educated choice about my treatment. However, this proliferation of new disorders and new drugs is making people feel that they can take a magic pill to cure every little ache or pain that they have. TV commercials urge viewers to "Ask your doctor if (fill in the blank) is right for you." How many suggestible people have, after watching a commercial, decided that they have a certain disorder and called the doctor's office to get an appointment for the purpose of obtaining a prescription for that drug? Many, I'm sure. If the commercials didn't work, the drug companies wouldn't pay to air them.

This is just another symptom of our society's obsession with having all that we want when we want it. Instead of changing our eating habits in order to keep from having acid reflux, for example, we just pop a pill every day so that we can keep on eating crap. Rather than deal with our problems and decide to have a positive outlook on life, we take an anti-depressant pill every day. Because we are too lazy to do the work or make the necessary sacrifices in order to have better health, we'd rather depend on a pill to do the work for us, and if that pill doesn't work, some other drug company makes another pill that surely will work. And on top of that, we complain about the prices of prescription drugs and the fact that drug company executives make tons of money, but we keep on lining their pockets out of our laziness and complacency.

What is the matter with us? I'm sure that as soon as someone figures it out, we'll have a new disorder and a drug to treat it.


Daniel Haszard said...

Eli Lilly 3Q 10% profit rise is nearly all from psyche drugs including zyprexa.How have they schemed to squeeze more money from their zyprexa cash cow when pill production has actually gone down?

ANS-Eli Lilly profiteers have jacked up the price of zyprexa to the federal govt,from the Medicare D payouts.Eli Lilly is a big drug company that puts profits over patients.

They covered up findings that their Zyprexa has a TEN times greater risk of causing type 2 diabetes

Only 9% of Americans trust big pharma,right around the same rating as tobacco companies.

Daniel Haszard Eli Lilly zyprexa drug caused my diabetes

Ayatollah Mugsy said...

I never understood the whole "ask your doctor if X drug is right for you" thing. Isn't it the doctor's job to know whether it's right, without my prodding? My vet tells me to use Revolution, so I use it. Simple as that.

Tony Arnold said...

Great comments as usual JMG. I just knew "restless leg syndrome" had to be something concocted by the drug companies. Now I am convinced.

It seems easier to treat symptoms rather than fighting the root cause. We are becoming a very lazy society where money can fix anything. Buy a solution, which feeds greed. God warns us of the dangers of laziness in our attitudes and habits.

What we need is a anti-laziness drug. Oh yeah we already have that. Caffiene & Cocaine.


Tony Arnold said...

I sent your link to a friend who previously worked in financial investment research specializing in medical and pharmaceuticals companies. He knows much about the under-belly of the beast. Here was his comment on your post.

Ha. Unfortunately she is correct. I would add that the saddest news here is that this is part of an overall focus on lifestyle drugs. It’s far easier and far far less costly to develop drugs for ED, depression, etc. than it is to develop drugs that aim to cure or treat disease. So, money that was previously spent on R&D towards MS, Leukemia, etc. is now being funneled towards making someone’s penis harder.

Bravo big pharma. Bravo.

People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. 1 Tim 6:9-10

JMG said...

Daniel, I'm sorry to hear about your problems with prescription drugs. I fear that too many people are experiencing the same types of problems.

Mugsy, I tried not using Frontline on my dogs this year because I avoid drugs whenever possible, so I figured I'd do the same for my pets. But alas, we had fleas, so I had to put them back on Frontline.

JMG said...

"Lifestyle drugs." Disgusting. Every time I turn around these days, I hear the word "lifestyle." Even the war on terror has been described as a war to maintain our American lifestyle.

I really like that passage from 1 Timothy, especially in this context. My folly in wanting to be rich can have a terrible impact on someone else. My attaining to and maintaining a lifesyle can bring someone else's lifestyle into ruin.

Tony Arnold said...

Reading my second post, I need to clarify for the sake of my friend. I put the scripture in, not he. What a sad world that profits will drive fixing erectile disfunction while MS, Leukemia, etc. cures are short-changed.

I have been reading through Isaiah and Jeremiah recently. If you substitue America for Israel, it is scary.


JMG said...

Funny you should mention that, Tony. I was reading in Revelation a few days ago, and Babylon has a remarkable resemblance to the United States.

BTW, will we be seeing you and your family Saturday?

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