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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » Pharmeceutical Scams

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Author Topic: Pharmeceutical Scams
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Recently, the pharmaceutical companies have been pushing their drugs with just as much sneaky behaviour and manipulation as a backstreet heroin pusher. In fact, they may be worse.

(Got your attention, didn't I?)

Check out an article on this one, about what the new drug, Sarafem, for the newly named "disorder" PMDD really is: http://societypolitics.chickclick.com/articles/33912p1.html

Is it ethical to create new syndromes just to sell the same old drugs with a new name, just because those drugs are legal? And when it comes to menstrual and sexual disorders, are the people getting fooled simply because of the aspect of shame or secrecy those types of problems are often clouded in?

Have we allowed menstruation or something like erectile dysfunction to become scapegoats so that the drug companies can get rich and fat while we buy into the notion of having a disorder that may not really exist?


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Heather Corinna
Editor and Founder, Scarleteen

"If you're a bird, be an early early bird --
But if you're a worm, sleep late." - Shel Silverstein

[This message has been edited by Miz Scarlet (edited 03-14-2001).]


Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
alaska
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I tripped about an ad for that drug on the WebMD website a few weeks back and wondered what the purpose of the whole thing was, really.

I think I finally understood now:

"Moods" aren't accepted these days. Mood swings because of hormonal changes are even less accepted (hormones= the animal within us). Moods because of your period? Duh, big big taboo (periods? Yuk!). And in addition: apparently, one isn't a full well functioning human being in this new millennium if your moods aren't completely under control. - and there you have the wide acceptance of psycho-active meds for anything out of the "ordinary" (aka PMS).

Urgh.

(Sorry, but this just makes me angry right now and brings out the anti-wide-use-of-psychotic-drugs-activist in me, I shall comeback and post more in-depth when I have sorted my thoughts.)

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"I am capable of, but sometimes not interested in making myself happy."


Posts: 4526 | From: germany | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
alaska
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(and FYI: In case you want to blame my anger on my period: Yes, I am menstruating at the mo and crampy and hence moody and maybe I should simply head to the doc to get myself some anti-depressants. GRRRRRRRR!)
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ThisGuy
Activist
Member # 968

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I've seen the ads for that one - it scares me that anyone could be taken in by the TV ad, at least...its rather shameless.

Medicine by marketing - a novel concept. Who needs a doctor when you can come up with the concept for a drug without them!

Maybe in 5 years, a marketing degree will let you practice as a surgeon?

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Mail order husband.


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Aria51
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That just makes me ill. My brother works for Pharmacia & Upjohn - the good people who bring you Depo-Provera and Lunelle [or whatever it's called, the new monthly injection.] (actually, if you're a chick in the midwest and use an OB/GYN drug made by Pharmacia & Upjohn, it's probably passed through his hands since he's the guy who sells them to the hospitals.) And believe me, people who work for those companies make plenty of money, so they shouldn't have to use unethical measures like 'inventing' PMDD to make money.

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I have a hideous, hideous secret...
you see, when the full moon shines, I undergo terrifying changes... My skin gets hard and stiff... shingles grow on top of my head... I turn into... a house.

That's right... I'm a werehouse.


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Gumdrop Girl
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even I am disturbed by the drug advertisements on television these days. and i'm disturbed by BART stations plastered over with Prilosec posters galore.

imho, pharmaceutical advertising was better the old fashioned way. Doctors would read medical journals and find out about new drugs. They would read in-depth about the drugs properties, chemistry, side effects, etc. And they would understand it 'cause that's what they're trained to do. Sometimes, a pharmaceutical company representative will visit the doctor's offices and sit down to discuss the drug with the doctors. If the doctor is interested in testing out the new product, the pharm rep will give the doctor several boxes of trial size pill packets. Often times, the rep will also give cute promo materials, too.

What happens when you bring a new drug onto the market and advertise it to the masses? A lot of them will respond to the prettiest ads or the most memorable names. Will they know about what the drug can really do? Will they know the side effects? Will they know why the drug has side effects? Probably not.

Ever read a full pharmaceutical ad? The information is prettym uch all there, but it's a black and white page of graphs, charts and jargon. You average patient probably won't be able to decipher it all.

I say, let's leave it up to the doctors discretion to a certain degree (you can argue, "i broke out in a rash last time i took that stuff" and your doctor will note that in your file).

and as for promo materials, I've got loads. All my birth control pills are trial packs from my dad's office. the clock on my wall is a teal Nasonex clock (the second hand is shaped like a nose dropper). My toothbrush cup has the Viagra logo on it. I have 4 stacks of Post-it notes from: Viagra, Zoloft, Evista and Claritin. And that's not all of it...

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This space reserved for the free exchange of thoughts and ideas.


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Confused boy
Activist
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I have discovered that there is another side to this story of the scam over Prozac bein reused under a different name.
Prozac is not a normal anti-depressant (well actually its a cocktail of many of them but im generalising slightly). It specifically increases the brain chemical 5-HT. Now this plays a large part in how good you feel as many other brain receptors do but it is often affected by menstruation.
I dont completely understand it myself but I believe that Lilly are not marketing a 'happy pill' to combat PMT. It is infact specifically targeted at the receptor that is affected by menstruation. Prozac is a very versatile drug. Normally, taking it means you have to take it for a month to combat normal depression (this clinical depression is frequently mixed up with just feeling depressed) for any effect to happen. However, when it comes to PMT, it works if it is taken just a week before the period.

The company is still being cynical in the way its marketing a drug that is not at all new but its not quite as evil as all that.


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loveable me
Neophyte
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Imagine: you go to your doctor feeling depressed, lonely and isolated. He says: "I know how you feel, but you're really not sick. It's basically up to you to change how you feel."

Think about this.

Now imagine the doctor says: "I know how you feel and there is this new drug that has helped many people with your condition", or "I know how you feel, I have helped many people with your condition through long term psychtherapy".

These are the choices we face today.

Who is selling what? And who would you listen to?

It's not that simple.


Posts: 28 | From: København, Denamrk | Registered: Feb 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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The facet being missed here was well-explained by Gumdrop, however.

Prescriptons are being advertised and marketed en masse on radio, television and in magazines. And much of this marketing flirts dangerously with being false advertising, and some of it patently IS false advertising.

It also promotes not asking a doctor about your *symptoms* but about medications, which is a very backwards and often counterproductive way to handle healthcare.

And as a note, the doctors and nuses I know do NOT support this sort of advertising.

------------------
Heather Corinna
Editor and Founder, Scarleteen

"If you're a bird, be an early early bird --
But if you're a worm, sleep late." - Shel Silverstein


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Bobolink
Activist
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Just a comment on Gumdrop's post:

Medical magazines don't always have the most informative ads. I remember leafing through one a few years back in a waiting room. The d that remains in my mind was one for women in menopause. The "before" picture showed a shrieking haridan, the "after" picture, a loving grandmother. I can't remember the product name but the revolting imagery remains.

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"A free society is a place where it's safe to be unpopular."

- Adlai Stevenson


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Lady Moonlight
Activist
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Here's the aspect that makes me mad:

This new drug appears to have been approved lickety-split by the FDA with nary a second glance, despite numerous questions about Prozac's side effects.

On the other hand, the allergy treatment I get, called Enzyme Potentiated Desensitization (EPD) is still in the review stage (technically I'm part of the trial study) waiting for approval and the FDA has been dragging its feet on it for over a year now, despite the fact that there are NO documented adverse side effects (as opposed to "regular" allergy shots) and EPD has been the standard allergy treatment in Europe for over 20 years now. ~sigh~

And don't even get me started about how my health insurance covers Viagra but not birth control pills...


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ThisGuy
Activist
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What really disturbs me is the medical professionals advertising.

For instance, laser vision clinics. I've seen stuff in Australia that tends to suggest that the laser vision clinics that advertise most, tend to have the worst track record. Nice.

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Mail order husband.


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Confused boy
Activist
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i believe that observation would account for almost every company selling a product. Those that advertise the most tend to be the worst companies. As far as I can see this works for cars, computers, supermarkets, television channels, computer games, films to a cetain extent. The list goes on.
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exit seraphim
Activist
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confused boy : but should serious mood-altering medications be advertised like a cheap marketing ploy from a toy company?

sure their selling a product....but one that could possibly do more harm then good if taken unnecessarily.

they are quite different.


-justine

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have i been wrong?
have i been wise?
to shut my eyes and play along?


Posts: 142 | From: H*Ton, NY | Registered: Feb 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Gumdrop Girl
Scarleteen Volunteer
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bobolink, adverts are adverts, and the ones in the magazines are often the same throughout all publications. but a lot of the medical journals also include scientific papers about the medications (properties, trials, statistics, etc), and in those the doctor can get some of the best information.

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This space reserved for the free exchange of thoughts and ideas.


Posts: 12677 | From: Los Angeles, CA ... somewhere off the 10 | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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