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.