Monday, November 23, 2009
I've come to the conclusion that pharmaceutical advertising is taking over the world (or maybe I'm just watching a subset of shows geared toward people in their 60s and 70s). But I actually think this is okay, because I find most pharmaceutical adds incredibly entertaining. I especially appreciate the one in which the disclosed side effects are worse than the actual disease such as one I just saw for an anti-depressent: May cause weight gain, loss of sexual drive, fatigue and suicidal thoughts. (This sounds like the medicine might actually cause depression....)
I'm also amazed by the ones with bizarre requirements such as one I recently heard for a kidney medication: Alert your doctor if you have an allergic reaction to bird products such as eggs, meat or feathers or if you have numbness in your leg.
But the BEST ones are the completely vague ones, the ones in which it is impossible to determine what ailment the drug addresses. They usually go something like this: Do you ever feel tired? (Flash image of an attractive young person in a superbly decorated house rubbing forehead das if tired.) Do you ever feel sick? (Flash to image of an equally attractive young person of a different gender and, even better, a minority sitting at their desk at a white collar job pretending to cough.) Do you ever have trouble deciding what to eat for dinner? (Flash to an image of an elderly woman looking into the refrigerator in despair.) Well you don't every have to feel these things again! Try Pharmaceutica and be free! (But what exactly is it for??!??!)
I often wonder what the effect of these ads is. Do people really go to their doctor demanding the little purple pill or are we simply creating a generation of hypochondriacs who wander the world believing they have high blood pressure, sleep apnea and restless less syndrome?