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Old 08-30-02, 12:12 PM   #1
lotek
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whats with all the Drugcommercials?

upon returning to the US from first Europe and
then South Africa I was kind of shocked to see
the number of commercials for perscription drugs on TV.
I firmly believe that we are encouraging self
diagnosis and treatment (Nexium, ask your doctor).
I wonder how many physicians are gonna say no
when a patient comes in and says "I think I have
acid reflux disease (or depression, or allergies or
any of the other made for TV illnesses) and I NEED
Nexium, Prilosec (sp?) or whatever they are pushing on
the idiot box.
I worked in hospital for 16 years doing ER consultations
and I NEVER heard the diagnosis GAD (generalized anxiety disorder),
whats up with that?
Does this disturb anyone else or is it just me?
Has Europe gone the same way? its been 5 years
since I spent any time there.

just had to vent a bit, thats all.

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Old 08-30-02, 12:22 PM   #2
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By "informing" consumers, they are trying to put pressure on Dr's to prescribe their product.

Most Dr's seem to be opposed to the practice. Too bad the hypcondriac public doesn't; they are requesting the drugs regardless of cost.

ALL advertising is a con game. I don't understand why people are so willing to believe it.
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Old 08-30-02, 12:32 PM   #3
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It's not just you. I've noticed the same thing on American television.

Every country's medical culture approaches illness and medication differently, and I find that -- from what I've read and observed -- Americans are somewhat more inclined to medicate than people in other countries.

The only time I see those ads, by the way, is on American television. They don't run on canadian channels.

The known known side effects of Velocilotec (TM) may include drowsiness, dry mouth, hives, chills, muscle spasms, hebephrenia, ephasia, hallucinations, blindness, apoxia, coma and death.
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Old 08-30-02, 12:37 PM   #4
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I think they stink for a few reasons:
1. They'll put these right up against anti-drug commercials. What kind of message is that? Don't do those drugs over there, but yes, definitely do these drugs over here. This creates neuroses, and therefore, the demand for Paxil.
2. They rarely tell you what the drug is for, rather say things like "only zantac is zantac". Huh? What's that mean?
3. They will tell you every undesirable side effect no matter how graphic they are, and it's usually when you're sitting down for dinner. "May cause unwanted rectal discharge" - remember that one? Thanks, Eli Lily, for plugging that image in my brain.
4. Why are they marketing directly to the general public if they must be acquired through a prescription?
5. Many of the drugs are unnecessary and are made to cover up the effects of poor lifestyle choices: a corrective action rather than preventative, thereby prolonging the problem and creating the need for more medicine.
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Old 08-30-02, 12:45 PM   #5
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The prescription drug industry is very strong in the States. There is soooo much money involved that they have near free reign to do anything. Their lobbyists openly bribe doctors and politicians. I can’t remember the last time I was in a doctor’s waiting room and I wasn’t accompanied by @ least one drug rep. I'm really not worried about the commercials. It's the stuff that is happening that isn't readily apparent that concerns me. I also believe that this industry is involved heavily in the “Partnership for a Drug Free America” propaganda war.

The message is simple – drugs are bad – unless you buy them from us.
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Old 08-30-02, 01:41 PM   #6
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I believe it was against the law to advertise prescription drugs on TV until a few years ago. It is required by law that they list all side effects. They wouldn't point out the negatives if they didn't have to. I detest self medication and overuse of over the counter and/or prescription drugs. If I feel pain, it's because my body has a problem and is telling me about it. Why would I want to stifle this great feedback and control system with drugs? If I have a cold, I want my immune system to fight the germs or virus. If I use antibiotics to do the work, won't my immune system get weaker? I hardly ever get sick and I think it has alot to do with "exercising" my immune system. The body has the ability to heal itself in most cases so why don't we let it?
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Old 08-30-02, 02:09 PM   #7
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I lived in England for about 6 months, and I don't remember seeing commercials for over-the-counter medicine even. I wanted to buy a bottle of ibuprofen to keep around the house while I was there, but I could only buy it in packs of 16 or so. And even then there was a little sign that said you couldn't buy more than 2 or 3 at a time.
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Old 08-30-02, 05:32 PM   #8
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Not trying to anger anyone, just want to shed some light on the subject. I work in the pharm industry and this is some of what I have learned in the course of my job:

1. It was illegal to advertise until recently

2. The debate still rages on the affects of DTC (direct to consumer) advertising as it is called, on the Doctor/Patient relationship.

3. Some patients like the feeling of empowerment that comes with this added knowledge.

Yes I agree that side affects list can be worrisome and gross. As for how to stop it (and I say this as a student of government not an expert) write/contact your legislators. The industry isn't so powerful that you can't make a difference or maybe my youth is causing my idealism .

Just my 2 cents
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Old 08-30-02, 06:37 PM   #9
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I overheard an ad for... was it Nexium? "It's today's purple pill." What a RELEVANT piece of information! Just one more reason I watch about 2 hours of television a year. In fact, the last time I watched much television was almost a year ago, and you can all understand the significance of that...
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Old 08-30-02, 06:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by velocipedio
The known known side effects of Velocilotec (TM) may include drowsiness, dry mouth, hives, chills, muscle spasms, hebephrenia, ephasia, hallucinations, blindness, apoxia, coma and death.
It's hard to say which is worse, selling directly to the consumer through television advertising, or promotion of particular drugs through the trusted physicians themselves. Where do doctors get their information about the drugs they prescribe (and give away in free samples?) What about medical conventions sponsored by drug companies, in which doctors enjoy every kind special treatment free of charge?

On the other side of the coin, there are many life-extending drugs available for people with serious conditions whose lives would be less than lovely without them. My wife is one of those, who takes a chemotherapy drug to suppress her immune system, which in turn alleviates most of the symptoms of her rheumatoid arthritis. Without this highly toxic drug, she would be in intense pain everyday, perhaps bedridden. Which is worse, a bad drug or a bad disease? She would tell you quickly, "a bad disease."

But I have to admit these drug ad's are almost humorous in a dark sort of way. Picture children playing and laughing in a field, Mom with them. The narrator is spewing out words rapidly like an auctioneer: "Side effects include dry mouth, nausea, vomiting and sexual side effects with possible liver damage..."

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Old 08-30-02, 07:20 PM   #11
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My favorite side effect for one of these TV drugs (some sort of fat-blocker or something similar) was something about a sudden, unexpected oily discharge.

As for me, I'd rather be fat and not sh*t myself, but since they are selling this drug, this is apparently not a unanimous belief.

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Old 08-30-02, 07:27 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by bac
My favorite side effect for one of these TV drugs (some sort of fat-blocker or something similar) was something about a sudden, unexpected oily discharge.

As for me, I'd rather be fat and not sh*t myself, but since they are selling this drug, this is apparently not a unanimous belief.

Now that drug is puzzling. A drug that allows you to eat whatever you want without absorbing the fat.

<AHEM!>

I have an idea: DON'T EAT SO MUCH FAT!!!
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Old 08-30-02, 09:18 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by JDP
It is required by law that they list all side effects.
Anybody remember the Clariton (sp?) ads, when perscription drug ads were first legal? If they told you about the drug, they would have to list the side effects. So instead, they showed 60 seconds of a surrealisticly beautiful spring-like scenes, and how wonderful life was again, and at the end, listed a web-site where you could go find out what the h#ll they were talking about.

There's huge money in Rx drugs, and it's a market that does well regardless of general economic conditions. The ads probably aren't going away.
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Old 08-30-02, 10:59 PM   #14
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Exercise is the way to better health, not drugs.
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Old 08-31-02, 03:41 AM   #15
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Why so many drug commericials? Because our way of life has become busy and hectic. We don't have time to deal with our health problems (and we're too lazy) so we take a drug.

Take my wife for example. Now she is a great gal and has a heart of gold. But she hates exercise in any form, so now she is overweight and hates that. Instead of exercising she goes to her doctor to get a new drug called Meridian. Now my wife is so happy that she is going to loose weight. The doctor told her that she has patients on this already and has had success.

So, here we are 8 months later and she comes back from her doctor with a NEW pill - for high blood pressure, which is one of the side affects of Meridian.

Instead of the doctor telling my wife to
1) stop the meridian
2) turn off the TV
3) get her butt of the couch
4) go outdoors

the doctor gives her ANOTHER pill to counteract the sideaffects of the first one.

I have preached to her that no drug will get her to loose weight only by sweating will that happen, but she won't listen to me.

So she is gonna have to realize that on her own before it is too late.

THAT'S our society and why we are addicted to these drugs.

WE ARE LAZY!

I guess I will soon see what side effects this NEW drug for high blood pressure has......
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Old 08-31-02, 08:04 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by digger
Instead of the doctor telling my wife to
1) stop the meridian
2) turn off the TV
3) get her butt of the couch
4) go outdoors

the doctor gives her ANOTHER pill to counteract the sideaffects of the first one.
No offense, but you may want to try another doctor. This one seems to already be a slave to the perscription drug lord.
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Old 09-01-02, 05:27 AM   #17
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Hey, take a pill!....

Actually, I think there was a recent US tax-law change that allows for a larger credit for "drug" advertising.

The companies recoup so much on the tax-break that it costs little to promote the drugs......

The real beauty of the present congressional setup is how easy it is to travel to Washington and bribe 40 or 50 law makers at once instead of actually having to spend time and money traveling around to all the states to bribe them......individually....

Man, now I'm all depressed.....
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Old 09-01-02, 01:42 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by digger
Instead of exercising she goes to her doctor to get a new drug called Meridian. Now my wife is so happy that she is going to loose weight.

So, here we are 8 months later and she comes back from her doctor with a NEW pill - for high blood pressure, which is one of the side affects of Meridian.
The effects of cycling (on me) tend to be interesting:

1) I have more energy (like stimulants,) but I'm more relaxed (like tranquilizers.)
2) I can eat more food, but not gain weight (like fat-blockers.)
3) I don't feel as hungry (like appetite suppressants.)
4) My mood is elevated (like antidepressants.)
5) My blood pressure is lower (like blood pressure medications.)

I bet there are more things cycling does for me that no drugs yet exist to mimic the effects of.
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Old 09-02-02, 01:17 AM   #19
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Guess I have to add my pennyworth to this. In South Africa a few years back, the government of (then) national unity authorised an aids awareness campaign where a roadshow was taken through the townships and demonstrations were given where condoms were promoted as a front-line defence against the spread of aids. To demonstrate how a condom was used, it was rolled onto the end of a broomstick handle, free condoms were handed out, and the roadshow moved on.

A while later, a photo turned up showing how condoms were being used. I think it showed a kraal and around it to protect against the aids 'spirit', were a number of sticks with, you guessed it, condoms on them.
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Old 09-02-02, 02:29 AM   #20
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I have read that the drug pushers- rather companies- advertise high end (costly) 'designer' drugs- that most insurance companies will not cover.This is an attempt to force their acceptance upon insurance companies..
They would rather put their resources in these highly profitable 'designer drugs'; over making medicines that would have actual health needs to fight diseases that threaten us with insignificant needs- such as a dreaded epidemic.
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Old 09-02-02, 03:41 AM   #21
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There also seems to be the issue of cheap "copied" drugs vs. more expensive, "original" brands. After a certain period of time the copyright to any given drug expires, enabling copycats to produce the same drug under a different brand name and sell it at a cheaper price.

We have an ongoing debate of whether the doctor should automatically prescribe the cheapest alternative or not (they usually don't) and if the patient should be able to require the cheapest alternative at the drug store regardless of what the doctor ordered.

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Old 09-02-02, 04:03 AM   #22
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In South Africa a few months back, there was a very large outcry and a mass demonstration about the responsibility that drug companies have once a patent has expired. Some companies began to promote generic medicines, but the combined might of the large companies tried to suppress this, as the naturally had a financial interest in promoting newer (read more expensive) drugs whilst still tapping into (high profits) of the now patent expired drugs.

The outcome was in a way, a victory for the people, who argued their case in court (I seem to recall) and the government effectively coerced the drug companies into making cheaper generics available commercially. They hissed and snarled like they were rabid dogs, but they lost.

During the apertheid years, the mass protest and boycott aimed at commercial operations perhaps did more damage than good in many areas. But this was one occasion where the same power of protest, brought large corporations to the table and where people susceptible to disease were for once able to get medicines they desperately needed.

I have an interest in this directly. I have diabetes, I need insulin and I need access to blood glucose diagnostic strips. If you look at what goes into a blood glucose strip, it is nothing more than a piece of plastic, containing some wafer-thin electrodes, and an enzyme which is mass produced. The drug companies charge an exorbitant amount for these supplies. Fortunately, the NHS in the UK pay for them, but every tax payer pays for them. I am not suprised to read that in some areas of the world, people with diabetes can only test their blood glucose once a month assuming they can get to the ad hoc walk-in clinics. As for insulin, there is anecdotal evidence that again, there are areas in the world where people share needles, share insulin, and take it in turns to 'own' it for a day and then pass it on.

I don't mind drug companies making a profit, but this is one area of their practice that I find utterly revolting.
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Old 09-02-02, 09:27 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by Pete Clark


The effects of cycling (on me) tend to be interesting:

2) I can eat more food, but not gain weight (like fat-blockers.)
3) I don't feel as hungry (like appetite suppressants.)
I have to disagree with #3. I get really hungry between meals since I've started commuting. I just split my lunch up so that I eat it in 3 different portions throughout the day. I also eat more but because of #2, appetite suppressants are not necessary and would probably be bad for my health.
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Old 09-02-02, 10:36 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bokkie

A while later, a photo turned up showing how condoms were being used. I think it showed a kraal and around it to protect against the aids 'spirit', were a number of sticks with, you guessed it, condoms on them.
Well this is better than the letter sending campaign where
you guessed it they stapled condoms to the letters (right
thru the middle of the packet).
Still major fights about retro viral drugs in RSA and the
current government of unity refusing to make them available
to the masses, President says they are "untested", meanwhile
the HIV rate in some provinces is above 33%

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Old 09-02-02, 11:23 AM   #25
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Not sure about the ethics of all this. However,I think they are trying to recover some of the extensive R&D costs involved with new drugs. Not to mention the cost of trying to get approval from the FDA and then advertising!
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