Are you old enough to remember The Marlboro Man on TV? Or the Virginia Slims ads? If you are, then you probably remember the reason why you don’t see them any more. Someone figured out that advertising works. Smoking kills Americans every day.
Someone figured out that advertising a harmful substance is not in the public’s best interest.
Do you remember when there were no prescription drug ads on TV? Now there are. Pharmaceutical companies spent $4.8 billion back in 2009, and the number of ads has gone up since then. The death toll from overdoses of prescription painkillers has more than tripled in the past decade. One has to wonder why there is this disconnect.
The presence of the ads is bad enough, but according to at least one study, 6 out of 10 claims they make are false! Science Daily reported that “Over the past 15 years, researchers and policymakers have debated whether drug advertising informs consumers about new drugs, or persuades consumers to take medicines that they may not need. ‘Healthcare consumers need unrestricted access to high-quality information about health,’ said Faerber of The Dartmouth Institute, ‘but these TV drug ads had misleading statements that omitted or exaggerated information. These results conflict with arguments that drug ads are helping inform consumers.'”
TV drug ads are irresponsible. The advertising of prescription drugs on TV and in magazines should be banned as reckless. Big pharma and the FDA should be held accountable for unleashing addiction, disability and death upon the unsuspecting citizens of the US.