Why do they advertise drugs that require a doctor’s advice?

From John Whiteside of the Houston Chronicle’s Blue Bayou blog:

The Lunesta moth! Running through fields of flowers! The purple pill! The couple that loves the, er, flexibility of Cialis! Television today is a pharmaceutical wonderland … As I watch those ads, I wonder, is this really a good idea?…

These are all good drugs that help people. But they are also drugs whose use is not considered simple enough for them to on the shelf at your local CVS. If a doctor’s advice is needed to take them, why are they being advertised? I thought the idea was that you went to your doctor and said, “I have ____,” and she or he said, “OK, here’s what I recommend…”

Well, we all know why they are being advertised; for the same reason that toys are advertised to children too young to have actual money to buy things themselves. If people are going to the doctor saying, “I want Cialis!” there will be more prescriptions for it…

And how about the bill for all this? $1.9 billion is a lot of money. In the context of discussion of health care costs, it’s an interesting thing to think about.

Amen, brother.

About Cary Byrd

eDrugSearch founder, Cary Byrd, has been called an “e-health innovator” by MarketIntellNow, interviewed by top pharmaceutical industry journalists, invited to Matthew Holt’s Health 2.0 Conference and a Consumer Report's health summit, and highlighted on numerous health blogs.

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0 thoughts on “Why do they advertise drugs that require a doctor’s advice?

  • I think it’s wrong to be advertising prescription medications to consumers. Especially when they list symptoms and then tell you to run to the doctor – a lot of suggestible people fit their symptoms into the list and panic.

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