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November 30, 2007

Say what, John Edwards?

John_Edwards_NYC%20113007.jpgFollowing on the previous post, have you heard about demagogue John Edwards' latest proposal?

A two-year ban on advertising for prescription drugs.

Paul Jacob suggests a common sense ban of another sort.

Posted by Tom at November 30, 2007 12:10 AM |

Comments

Hi Tom:

Sorry to be a bit of a thorn in your side here Tom--I'm not a big fan of John Edwards but...in my book prescription drug ads are several steps beyond annoying, and to someone without insurance, they can be downright insulting. 15 seconds of ad and 45 seconds of disclaimer only a lawyer could love (sorry again...), vaguely structured copy so you're not really sure what the heck the drug is for anyway. They teach me new words I really didn't want to know, like Priapism, for instance...

I wonder, do doctors like prescription drug ads? I'd like to see a survey of physicians asking how much time they think they waste explaining to patients who "ask their doctor" that just because they saw it on TV doesn't mean they need the damned drug for their condition.

You've argued in the past on this blog that advertising means more profit which means more research and a better world for all of us, but as I've said before, tell that to my uninsured wife the next time she goes to the pharmacy. Case in point: Remember Zelnorm (who names this stuff?), a medication for Irritable Bowel Syndrome, the ad had a bunch of women lined up with bloated bellies--they were quite ubiquitous a few years back. My wife "asked her doctor" and he wrote out a prescription which she promptly refused at the pharmacy when she saw the astronomical price tag. Instead, she tried a natural alternative (which worked). Zelnorm, on the other hand, is now off the market because in addition to curing your IBS, it might also kill you.

We're not holding our breath for the age of "Better Living Through Chemistry" We haven't seen the trickle-down and don't expect to, and we're not asking our doctor.

Posted by: RichP Author Profile Page at November 30, 2007 10:54 AM

Rich, no doubt that you are correct that most of the prescription drug ads are awful. However, I simply don't think it serves any useful purpose to regulate the advertising. Let the market tell the drug companies that he advertising dollars are not being well spent.

Posted by: Tom K. Author Profile Page at November 30, 2007 11:48 AM

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