Research About advertising Drugs -- Whats your input

  1. Hi everyone,

    I'm doing some research for a paper I'm working on for school.
    We have to talk about either why we are for or against advertising Drugs in the media.

    Let me know what your thought are.

    (Personally I am against advertising in the media. I think it leads to self-diagnosis, people insisting that they are put on those Brand name drugs and bringing up health costs. Some people say they advertise to bring it to doctors attention -- all they have to do for that is send info to the Doc, puplish in Health journals, etc.)
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   OB/GYN NP
    I hate it when pharmaceutical companies market their drug(s) to the public. Patients will come in all the time to me saying, "I want this pill, because the commercial says it will help me with acne." and they get ticked when you tell them that that's not the best one for them. I REALLY hate when they come in with a COUPON that the drug company sent them if they just use that particular product! Then if you say it's not the right drug, the patient is mad at you for trying to give them a different product. They don't have the background to understand everything that goes into the decision to prescribe one medication or another. And what the commercials DON"T tell them is all of the potentail adverse side effects that could occur, and these adverse effects could be much worse than the reason that they came in for!

    Drug companies aren't fooling anyone. They claim that they're trying to help the patient help themselves. They're actually trying to help themselves line their corporate pockets by trying to get the patient to request what may be an inferior drug. Also, the federal laws are clamping down on what the drug companies can do to try to get Healthcare Providers to prescribe their drugs (dinners, gifts, etc), so the marketing to the public is getting more aggressive. It will probably literally take an act of Congress to get the drug companies to stop this practice.

    Good luck with your paper, Marcus.
  4. by   Q.
    I also don't agree with drug marketing to the public. In the clinic, too many times patients have come in demanding Allegra over claritin, etc etc. There was a study that showed 70% of physicians will write the order for the requested drug simply to appease the patients.

    I believe information should be available for patients to make informed decisions in concert with their physician, however, making drug choices is not one of them. Your physician chose this drug 9 times of out 10 because that's what your insurance pwill pay for anyway. If that drug is ineffective, at THAT point should you discuss other meds. Not just because the ad for Allegra was prettier.
  5. by   donmurray
    Such direct advertising is restricted in the UK, but the papers are always on to the latest "miracle" treatment. I work in Elderly Mental Health, and every other patient or their carer is asking about "Ebixa" at present. A couple of years back it was Aricept.
  6. by   sjoe
    This is a perfectly legal and legitimate activity that can only be expected in a capitalist economy such as the one we are fortunate enough to enjoy.

    Should the consumer be left even further in the dark than he already is, leaving all this kind of information (however biased), brand names, etc. solely in the hands of the all-knowing "experts"? That is a very elitist viewpoint.

    The only thing that annoys me is seeing the same ones over and over (since I usually only watch the news). It would be a cold day in hell before I'd ever take a "purple pill," the ads are so annoying and repetitive.

    IMHO.
    Last edit by sjoe on Nov 1, '02
  7. by   doobiedo
    Yes the pharma companies are trying to promote their product...and is that really any different than any other company promoting their sneakers or clothes...

    I believe also that you need to be educated and informed and take responsibility for your care...the pt needs to be informed and involved in their medical care. They need to be knowledgeable about what is available to them...can it make our lives as health care professionals difficult?...absolutely ....and I have been in the position of having to tell the pt that the medication they see on TV is not the type of medication that they need.

    However on the flip side how many pts are experiencing ie: signs of depression and not knowing that the feelings they are having are not normal and there is help out there.

    how many men are experiencing ED and feel they are the only ones out there and not aware there is are treatment options and yes...medication if needed to help....do they not deserve to know this?

    Many people may feel they are alone or are just not aware that what they are experiencing is not normal and may need help.

    Just my opinion but I feel pharmaceutical products is no different than those fancy sneakers, game boys, perfume or what ever else we see advertised every day....that is putting money in every other company pocket
  8. by   emily_mom
    I also agree that drug companies should not be able to advertise. I think it's a lot different than shoe ads or whatever....we're talking about people's health and lives. We have people that come in every day and say, "I have heartburn, I need the little purple pill." My doc will sometimes give them free samples of it, and if it works, great. Otherwise he will prescribe something else even if they are insistent. You don't see any of the "cheap" drugs being advertised, only the newest, "greatest", and obviously most expensive.

    Drug companies act on the commercials as if this is the newest wonder drug and it's the only thing that will help them. I mean, look at all the healthy and active actors on them. If they can be healthy, why can't I?

    Kristy
  9. by   jemb
    I have some conflicting thoughts about drug advertising to the public. Yes, we are a capitalist society,and it is legal and to be expected. However, for drugs that are not OTC, I question the appropriateness of mass media adverising. I really doubt that Viagra would get fewer takers by placing more of a PSA type ad which says simply that there is help available for ED, and to ask your doctor about alternatives. Other products --for GERD, weight loss, whatever -- would probably do just as well also with no brand name mentioned, except in the post-ad remark of "This ad/announcement made possible by (insert manufacturer) drug co., makers of (insert drug name). " But, fact is, they are not regulated in that manner, and if one drug company produces a name-shouting ad, the others have to compete. Personally, I think some of the ads border on unethical.
  10. by   KRVRN
    I don't agree with it. The argument about "helping the pt help himself" is flawed. No one can truly make that judgment for themself without knowing what other drugs are out there, what they do, pros/cons, etc etc.

    I don't like the thought that with so many drugs available over the internet and in Mexico, etc. people could be buying these drugs for themselves and experimenting with them.
  11. by   OB/GYN NP
    SJoe, it's not elitist to say that Health Care Providers know more about drugs, their side effects, and what drug might be best for a patient's needs. That's why we go to school, and that's why we continue to learn about new drugs as they come out. Drug companies only tell the patients just enough to make their product sound good. I certainly don't think that patients should not be informed about their choices, but that's what we're there for. Education is a big part of what we do, or should be doing. And no, I don't think that a patient can make a better choice about what medication he/she should take than their care providers do, just because they've seen biased commercials on drugs. They have nothing to compare the advertisements to, if they don't know that there's a great generic out there that does the same thing. Because the generic doesn't advertise. If I needed work done on my computer, I wouldn't go to the store and say, "I want this and this and this brand parts installed in my computer"...I would ask the people who know more about my computer than I do. The same thing applies to Health Care Providers. It's as simple as that. It's our job to talk to them about ALL their options, not the drug companies' jobs, however legal or legitimate it might be. And your comment about the "So-called Experts" was offensive. People who prescribe drugs are experts in their field, or they wouldn't be prescribing.
  12. by   MarcusKspn
    I don't think it is elitist to prohibit drug advertisment in the media. There are more than enought resources to find out about new drugs and what they do. The internet alone is limitless to find out about every research going on now. The big problem I have with advertising is that it is very very misleading. They promise everything imaginable and at the end of the comercial you have this little prase:

    "These results are not typical, you should not expect the same results"

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