Prescription Drug Advertising

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The United States occupies 4.34% of the world’s population, but accounts for 42% of global prescription drug spending, mostly because it is one of only two countries that allow direct-to-consumer prescription drug advertisements. However, these ads are targeting mostly healthy U.S citizens rather than citizens who will benefit from the prescription drug, creating potential risks for many healthy individuals and thus, should be considered to be banned. First of all, as with all ads, they create a demand for a product based on commercial profit rather than the patient’s health. In addition, a FDA survey of U.S. physician, 28% reported often feeling pressured to please the patient. In other words, DTC prescription drug ads increase the number…show more content…
After all, according to the FDA, they do not approve DTC prescription drug ads before being aired on TV, which allows companies to promote their product before long-term safety information is known. Finally, substitutions of new, superior, expensive drugs and their persuasive ads are unnecessary to the public, but rather they promote a higher cost of prescription drugs and does not ease the cost of health care either. Following the same logic of the banning of tobacco ads in the U.S. “for the protection and benefit of the public health,” stated WHO, the World Health Organization, prescription drug ads should also be taken off the air. Therefore, banning direct to consumer prescription drug advertisements in the U.S. will decrease the number of unnecessary and harmful prescription to U.S. citizens, for it lowers the target for unnecessary and wrong drug prescriptions, decrease widespread of side-effects and cost of health…show more content…
After all, the FDA does not approve ads before being aired on TV or radio, which allows drug companies to promote DTC prescription drug ads before long-term safety information is known about their product. In other words, doctors will be prescribing drugs to patients without knowing future harmful consequences. Take for example, Vioxx. Vioxx was a new aggressive DTC ad in the early 2000s compared to its older competition Ibuprofen. Both being advertised as arthritis and pain reliever, but because of the aggressive DTC ads on Vioxx, it sold 20 million drug prescriptions in 5 years in the market. However, after Vioxx was found to increase the risk for cardiovascular events, such as heart attacks and strokes that caused 140,000 cardiac events, including more than 60,000 deaths it was pulled from the market. As a result, thousands of people who were lured to the glossy advertisement of Vioxx died or suffered from heart attacks. Sadly, DTC marketing is a general practice done by almost every drug company in America to promote their product before any harmful side-effects are fully known. Making at least 35 other prescription drugs between the 1970s and 2016 such as Bextra, Darvon, and Cylert be taken off the market for safety concerns after many units were sold to citizens. From this exemplar, we can learn DTC prescription drug ads are increasing the target for harmful

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