We’ve all watched them, and most of us with a chronic illness have had a laugh or even a shout out to the TV. I’ve shared my irritation in the past that a person with rheumatoid arthritis (my illness) can be shown in a commercial from being practically bed-ridden to playing tennis and swinging the racquet over her head in what appears to be just days if not hours.
And most of us have been told by a well-meaning friend “I saw a commercial for ___. Have you tried that?” (Answer: Yes, I’ve been on it for 10 years… that and steroids and anti-inflammatories, and vocdoin and about 10 other things that would freak you out if I started listingthem…)
No, just kidding. I don’t actually say that part out loud and explain all that but I have said, “Life is not like the commercials.”
Here is some news:
Defenders of the direct-to-consumer drug advertising say this is a way to educate consumers and let them know of medical advances. But some critics say the ads do great harm, and reflect a pharmaceutical industry that has run amok.
This article/opinion piece from the New York Times has a debate on this issue with some key people. If you are interested in what the future of drug commercials could be, it’s an interesting piece to read.
- Marcia Angell, Harvard Medical School
- Ronald Bailey, Reason magazine
- James P. Othmer, author
- Julie M. Donohue, University of Pittsburgh
- Jerry Avorn, Harvard Medical School
- Robin Raj, ad agency executive
- John Mack, Pharma Marketing News
- Greg Critser, author
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