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

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Author Topic: pharmaceutical ads
youcancallmepunk
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I just went to the doctor today (this was like the 2 time in a 3 year period) and I was astonished by all the pharmaceutical ads posted in the exam room and all around the office.

For some reason I just don't feel you should be advertising a medication because then people assume they need it with out consulting their doctors. And if they consult their doctors, the doctor might not necessarily feel the drug is needed or that another drug would be useful. Also if he felt it was needed, I would assume the doctor would bring this up.

Does anyone else feel this way? Do you think it's okay to advertise for medications?


Posts: 197 | From: north carolina, United States | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
emsily0
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well, isn't that the point of all advertising? to make you think you need something?

i don't really have a problem with it, no. i think it's up to the doctor and the patient to decide what medications the patient needs, ads or not. pharmaceuticals are big business - HUGE - and i think that any big company is going to want to advertise.

em

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Boys and girls in America have such a sad time together; sophistication demands that they submit to sex immediately without proper preliminary talk. Not courting talk - real straight talk about souls - for life is holy and every moment is precious. I heard the Denver and Rio Grande locamotive howling off in the mountains. I wanted to pursue my star further. -Kerouac


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Dzuunmod
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The difference between this and with most ads, I think, is that they kind of run against the idea that your doctor is looking out for you first. If my doctor is taking money from some pharma-giant to place ads in his/her office, who's to say that s/he isn't also directing me towards medication that I don't really need?

I shouldn't have to think about that stuff when I'm at the doctor's office.

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"And when I'm gone, she'll never leave me. No, no she'll never, be untrue. And buddy if you do not believe me, you don't believe the sky is blue."
-Joel Plaskett, Down at the Khyber


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Dzuunmod
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Oh, and let me add that here in Canada, as is often the case, the rules are significantly different. Ads on TV for pharmaceuticals can only direct potential consumers to 1-800 numbers and the like. They can't actually mention the brand name of the product that's being pushed. I don't know if there are rules about ads in doctor's offices - but I've never noticed any at my doctor's.

And, em, there are lots of things that you're not allowed to advertise however you want. You can't have cigarette ads on TV, for one. I'd liken this (ads in doctor's offices) to the way that campaign posters aren't allowed at the polling places during elections.

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"And when I'm gone, she'll never leave me. No, no she'll never, be untrue. And buddy if you do not believe me, you don't believe the sky is blue."
-Joel Plaskett, Down at the Khyber

[This message has been edited by Dzuunmod (edited 01-30-2003).]


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Confused boy
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In Britain, a law is about to come into effect that will ban all forms of tobacco advertising (except possibly on Formula 1 cars as supposedly they rely a huge amount on tobacco marketting) in order to prevent companies encouraging more people to take up the habit. I would be in favour of similar rigorous controls on other drugs, including pharmaceuticals. The doctor should act as a mediator between the patient and company since one assumes they are both qualified and inclined to choose the best drug for the specific patient, regardless of what the brand is.

I suppose the question is once you start introducing controls on advertising in this area, do you set a precedent for banning advertising in far more areas where damaging messages might be sent to an ill-informed audience. I am not particularly bothered by that, considering advertising in general is an industry that produces nothing but lies and false need so anywhere where it may cause obvious damage should be an area of concern for legislators.

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'An Anarchist is a Liberal with a bomb' Trotsky


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emsily0
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the laws in the US used to be similar, dzuun. in recent years there has been significant loosening of those rules.

i admit, i have more of a problem with advertising in doctors' offices than i do with ads on TV, in magazines, etc. although things like pens, clipboards, penlights, etc. with drug names and logos are ubiquitous and in my view harmless, i would have a problem if my doctor had posters on her walls. i would take issue in that case with the doctor, not the company, though.

em


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Gumdrop Girl
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I can't say I'm opposed to pharmaceutical ads. I've been around them all my life, and as many can attest, my house if full of pharmaceutical logo gear. My toothbrush cup has the Viagra logo on it and I have matching post-it notes. However, I can understand the concern surrounding the '"big ticket bribes." Last year, my father (a physician) was invited to an all-expenses paid symposium in Las Vegas conducted by a major pharmaceutical company. A Nasonex clock on my wall is one thing, but even that i find to be a little excessive.

But it is in the name of marketing and like any firm, pharm companies need to sell product to make money. More money means more research. And more research means better product.

Do the little bribes undercut patient care? not necessarily. After all, the doctors are not under contract to these companies. The pharm representatives can give my dad all the clocks they want. If their product sucks in comparison to something else? He'll prescribe the other, better product. But you have to try a product to know if it's a better product or not. That's where the reps come in. They bring samples to the doctors, discuss the medication's effects, side effects and properties. If the doctor feels a patient can benefit from a certain drug, he/she can give the patient medicine samples (with proper instructions) instead of just writing a prescription. That saves money for the patient. Patient returns with feedback, and from that, the doctor can gather just how good the product really is.

As for whether advertising creates a fasle need, there is an assumption you need to make. You need to assume that your doctor is ethical and will act in your best interests. If you cannot make this assumption safely, well, I hope you find a better doctor. If you are concerned that a patient will try an advertised medication without consulting a doctor, that is unlikely with many of the medications advertised in doctors' offices because those medications tend to be prescription-only anyway. Patients can't get those medications unless the doctor deems them appropriate for treatment.

So then, why have prescription drug ads at all? Because even though patients cannot get those drugs on their own, they can still bring it up to their doctors during consultations. From there, the doctor can tell the patient why the drug would be or would not be right for them. for example, consider the ST user base. We get plenty of questions about things like the Ortho-Evra contraceptive patch (which advertises in many magazines like Cosmopolitan that target young women). Those people are asking *us* about the product. They could just as easily ask their doctors about the product and whether it would be right for them to use. And that's exactly what they should be doing.

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According to the experts, I am some species of badass.


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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