Monday, November 12, 2007

The Cheerleader Drugs in Modern Medicine

Somehow, a cookie must have followed me home, because now almost every time I open e-mail, I've got three offerings for Viagra.Other than deleting, I don't know what to do, but it is mildly irritating. Before the Viagra showed up, it was offers for mail order drug programs. At least there was some logical chance I could use those.

When I read a magazine, there are always several pages advertising drugs ranging from antihistimines to heartburn remedies,and antidepressants,to hormone therapy to rather mysterious ads that advertise drugs whose use I can't figure out.

The radio also abounds with drug ads.

I understand there is a plethora of drug advertising on television as well. When I moved into my current home six years ago, there was no aerial and I refuse to get cable,so I seldom watch television. But plenty of ads are out there. People with tivo tell me they escape the deluge by simply deleting the advertising on the shows they watch.

Is the advertising effective?

At the same time all this advertising is hitting the public, drug company reps are hitting the doctors, leaving boxes of samples for the doctors to try on their patients. Or refill orders when the doctors have started using them.
Patients show up with a wish list of drugs they want to try and discuss it with their doctors. Sometimes they have conditions that contraindicate what they want to try, sometimes not. Sometimes the doctors have a good supply of what the patient wants to try and there seems no harm, so off they go with a handful of samples to try before coming back for a prescription. So yes, use of those drugs is up. ca-ching!

Then let us not forget the surgical ads. Knee replacements with specific brands is a frequent one I hear. Now a partial knee replacement. Lap-band surgery to control weight. I read in a national news magazine recently (don't remember which one) that an increasing number of parents are getting the surgery for their teenagers, even when they are not morbidly obese. And (shudder) that creepy facelift surgery where they don't really cut but thread string through the muscle and suture it at the sides of the face to lift the desired area. (I did see some video on this and it gave me the creeps). And, of course, laysic(sic) surgery for better vision.

The surgical ads are effective, too.

Apparently, we consumers who are howling about the high price of our meds, mean only those meds that basically keep us alive, like blood pressure, heart and vascular meds, diabetes, etc. No ads for those. Maybe it's the fact we don't get to choose. I just know the American public is asking for more medical drugs and procedures than ever before. And I marvel at the effects of the advertising, because that has to be a factor.

Now consider the kid watching cartoons who asks for the toys advertised during the commercials. And we chuckle indulgently at the susceptibility of our children to tv advertising.

Well, folks, you are all grown up. And you see an ad for this medication or that medical procedure, and you say, ooooh, gotta have it. You don't even listen to the possible side effects.

To me, the kids make more sense.


Babs RN said...

Amen, Amen, Amen, Amen, and again...Amen.

I find it highly irresponsible that they do this.

Merry Jelinek said...

The advertisements don't bother me as much as the drug company reps that bombard doctor's offices with 'free' samples. The upshot is that most patients automatically assume that the doctor recommends the drug - there is a significant difference between a doctor recommendation and a lack of disapproval. (The drug co. reps know this, it's good advertising, even if it is sneaky)

When my oldest was a toddler the pediatrician had a basket on her counter for the parents - free samples of various children's fever reducers and such - I won't mention the brand name. When my daughter was sick with a high fever I called, as I was a pain that way in the early years, and she recommended a different fever reducer, telling me it worked the best - that one was children's motrin and it did work the best for my kids.

She went on to explain that there was nothing wrong with the samples in her office, but she gave them out because they were given to her in large quantities free, and she passed it on to her patients... but a patient who didn't ask would have assumed they were the best - I know that's the brand I bought before the doctor told me to use the other one.

night lightning woman said...

Talk about a strong anecdotal story! And yes, it is sneaky practice. Happening today in doctors' offices across the nation. I suspect folks who walk in wanting the advertised painkller, antihistimine, heartburn med, etc., often might do better on another medication, but what the hey, the one they ask for will work, just not as well or as fast, and the doctor can give them free samples, and they walk away happy. Good for you for checking with your doctor.
Good to hear from you, BTW.

Assrot said...

I thinks all those type of ads should be banned from TV and radio. It's all very confusing and makes people wonder why the doctor is not using the new magic pill or treatment rather than the old tried and true stuff.
When I go to the doctor, I want him to prescribe based on my symptoms, test results and his experience. I don't want him prescribing me anything just because it is the latest fad and I think it might work better because some idiot actor on TV said so.
As for Viagra and all that type of stuff, if your so old your junk don't work anymore, it's time to stop having sex. Your body is telling you something. You are either too out of shape and might kill yourself with a heart attack during sex or the person you are trying to have sex with is so old, fat and wrinkly that it just ain't worth it anymore.
Me, I don't need Viagra but when it comes to sex I can take it or leave it. It's still nice once in awhile but I am not about to start taking pills to get that rascal at attention.
'nuf out of me. Have a nice night.