Blogroll Me! How This Old Brit Sees It ...: Only in <strike>America</strike> The United States of Slick, Sick Advertising ...

15 June 2008

Only in America The United States of Slick, Sick Advertising ...


Hi. How are you today?

Keeping well, we trust.


America is, I think, the only country in the world which permits advertising of drugs which are available only through your doctor.

Prescription drugs are commonly advertised on television in the US

The insidious message is simple; if your doctor is not offering you this drug, maybe you should be asking for it.

Americans do accept advertising in areas where it does not tend to appear elsewhere.


Prescription drugs though are surely different. After all, the whole point of them is that it is not considered safe to let us simply buy them over the counter.

They are so strong or so habit forming that it is up to the doctor to decide that we really need them.

Advertising subtly changes that relationship by sending us in to see the doctor filled with nameless dreads about the symptoms of diseases we might have, and a detailed knowledge of the drugs that might help us.

The TV spots in other words insidiously furnish us with the tools to torture ourselves.


I sleep well enough too, but I certainly do not start the day with the radiant lustre of the woman in the sleeping pill advert.

She is perhaps the jolliest person in TV advert land's world of impotence, flatulence and obesity.


They are a daily reminder of the many ways in which America - superficially so similar to Western Europe - is really profoundly different.

Those adverts with their sure sense of how to play on our doubts and insecurities are a symptom of the restless energy of American capitalism and of the belief that it can apply to issues of health and happiness just as readily as it can apply to polish or pet food.
Read the rest of this US based BBC newsman's observations on this subject.

When we read it we didn't know whether to laugh or cry.

( Original illustration with kind permission of Dr Aubrey Blumsohn of *Scientific Misconduct*)


We wonder where we'd be without our bestest, of best big buddies at 'Big Pharma', eh?

(Cross posted at 'appletree')

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Anonymous bootlean said...

Good to see you're back in business, Richard. I've been "out of the loop" myself for a while - stuck in hospital. All sorted out now I'm glad to say. :-)

11:43 pm  
Anonymous gordo said...

Those ads are so insidious. They give a list of symptoms for you repeat to a doctor so that he or she can get you whatever you want without breaking the law, and they give you a toll-free number you can call to get a list of doctors who have shown an eagerness to prescribe the drug. The ads are like taking a class called Doctor Shopping 101.

They also make it more difficult for ethical doctors to do their jobs. Instead of a frank exchange of information with their patients, these doctors have patients give them a list of symptoms that they heard on TV. Sometimes the symptoms are real, sometimes they're figments of an imagination that was stimulated by the ads, and sometimes they're fabricated by patients who want to get their painkillers, stimulants, or anti-depressants.

This is one of the most clear-cut cases of an American government that's been cowed by industry into shirking its responsibility to its citizens.

9:10 am  

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