Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Pharmaceutical Ads - Give Me a Break!

I've had it up to my eyeballs with pharmaceutical advertising! If you're like me, you're probably sick of these controversial ads too. Every time we turn on the TV, we're bombarded with ads for conditions such as Migraine, Elevated Cholesterol, Depression, Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and of course Erectile Dysfunction.

Do you know who Dr. Robert Jarvik is? My tweenager does. He watches enough TV to know that Dr. Jarvik is the spokesman for
Pfizer's cholesterol lowering medication, Lipitor, and that he invented the artificial heart. He can also recite the words verbatim, “When diet and exercise aren’t enough, adding Lipitor significantly lowers cholesterol”. The New York Times tells us what my son and millions of other people in TV land don't know:
...though Jarvik graduated from medical school, he's not licensed to practice medicine or to write prescriptions. He doesn't see patients. He was a consultant to Lipitor maker Pfizer, under contract for $1.35 million. And he didn't start taking Lipitor until a month after he started doing the ads. Oh, and that wasn't him rowing; it was someone who looked like him in a similar jacket.
Because of these ads, my preteen can also explain what Erectile Dysfunction is, tell you about Viagra, warn you "in the rare event of an erection lasting more than 4 hours, seek immediate medical help to avoid long-term injury" and sing all the words to the "Viva Viagra" song.

Even though I'm sick of these commercials, one good thing has come out of this...COUPONS, REBATES, VOUCHERS AND FREE TRIALS. For more information on this see my next post.


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