Sunday, April 6, 2008

Pharmaceutical advertisements during dinner

I’m sick of pharmaceutical advertisements. Especially during dinner time. I think it just feeds the “pop a pill, solve anything” mentality that is too prevalent in America. Does the twenty percent of the country watching television, really have the disease that the pill is to help with? I doubt it. I wonder if most people are like me and my family. We get to feeling bad, we see our doctor. We discuss the symptoms and let the doctor figure out what might be going wrong. And get a physical, based on what how often your doctor thinks you should. Case in point. I walk a lot. Like five miles a day, five or six days a week. I was having some pretty bad ankle pain. I took a few days off. It didn’t get any better. I was also having joint pain in my hand. I could rationalize that the ankle was due to the pounding of walking. I could rationalize the hand pain to too much mouse clicking! After a few days, I went to see my doctor. With two areas of joint pain, he suspected GOUT! I’d have never thought of that. I guess that was why he went to medical school. He takes some X-Rays looking for bone issues and doesn’t find anything. He takes blood work to send off, but also gives me a prescription for an anti-inflammatory. Three days later, I’m doing much better and the blood work results come back. No gout, but high cholesterol! So he starts a low dosage for that, a new list of things to eat, and not eat. And tells me to re-do the blood work in 30 days. Oh, and the joint pain is much better with rest and the medicines.

Now, I trust my doctor. Do I really need to be bombarded with pharmaceutical ads? I want my doctor to hear my complaint, search for the cause, and choose the best method and medicine to treat that with the least amount of side effects. He’s good and always tells me of the side effects and that if side effects become too much of a bother, to call the office and they’d call in a different medicine to try. Maybe most doctors are not like that.

Otherwise, why do we need to hear about some medicine for some condition that most of us don’t have? All the advertisements sound like this:

“Hi. I’m Sally. I have monthly bloating, festering skin lessons, intestinal blockages, osteoarthritis, seasonal allergies and erectile dysfunction. Do you suffer like I do? Perhaps you should do like I did and talk with your doctor. He recommended I try the new once a year dosage of Phrenocolic. I like it because I only have to take it once a year”

The person then goes about some Martha Stewart thing, like arranging their kitchen knives, or jogging, and the announcer comes on:
“phrenocolic is not suitable for everyone. Only you and your doctor should decide if phrenocolic is right for you. Side effects might include, but are not limit to: dry mouth, erections lasting longer than four hours (why is this a bad thing?), kidney failure, dry skin, liver failure, one arm growing longer than the other, regrowth of male-patterned baldness, hair loss, excessive saliva, night sweats, toe nails growing an inch a day, one eye turning albino, uncontrollable spasms, excessive sweating, dry eyes, intestinal blockages, diarrhea, bloody stools, cravings for chocolate and gambling, constipation, oily skin, bleeding skin pores, restless leg syndrome (RLS), heart palpitations, uncontrollable sexual urges, eyes tearing or runny nose. If any of these side effects become a problem, seek your doctor’s advice”.
Meanwhile, in a font of about eight: they flash on the bottom of the screen, some disclaimer
“Phrenocolic is made by Big-company. Big-company tested the product on two rats and a shrimp. We paid off the government, so we can sell this crap. We make this crap at a factory on a back road in some third world toilet. We sell it for a buck a pill over there, but plan on paying $30 a pill in the USA. Big-Company is not responsible for any side effects as a result of your taking our drug. If phrenocolic doesn’t solve your problem, we are not responsible. Don’t bother to complain to your elected official. We set him up with a hooker and he’s happy to know us.
We have an entire floor of lawyers and we know how to use them”

I guess we should thank them for not showing the person needing their drug.

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