Got symptoms… Got Drugs.

Got symptoms… Got Drugs.

An article in the NY Times explores the American obsession with pharmaceuticals. Years ago, the pharmaceutical companies would do their marketing to the doctors, usually with attractive drug representatives. In today’s America, they appeal directly to the public to leave the impression that every symptom has a drug or a syndrome to cure. The problem is that most of the meds have side effects and they do not cure anything, while in some cases, years later we found out they created problems for people which keeps lawyers quite busy. What the do successfully is get you hooked on the slight improvement you may feel, at a usually high cost (supplemented by insurance to hide the true cost of the drug), while it is still under patent. Another side effect of the escalated amount of television drug advertising is that today, we as US citizens consume twice as many drugs as most Western societies.

If you are like me, you may have noticed lately that every other commercial during prime time television is for another drug, to be consumed when most people are letting down their guard while watching their favorite television program. Is it time with rethink the idea that drug advertising on television, with all its side effects while watching a beautiful calming scene of people enjoying themselves plays through as the narrator explains all the horrible things the drug can do to you. Obviously, their messaging is producing business because they have intensified their television advertising. One problem though… many insurance carriers are beginning to refuse to cover some of these name brands or allow them for higher deductibles, and are now suggesting the usage of generics which are much cheaper for them and give you the drug at a lower copay amount as well.

This of course is done under the new ways of exploring the term medical necessity. It is a term that used to mean that this is important to the persons health as recommended by their doctor. Are these drugs really necessary, or have we been convinced they are, as the consumer begins to exert more and more pressure on their doctor so they can get their drug. Many doctors also have embraced at the hands of their local drug rep or worse, as some have become paid drug company consultants and lecturers to rep the financial award, in effect, selling out their patients. Because most practice allopathy, drugs is all they know and big pharma is there of course to help.

Big Pharma’s newest solution is to give the public vouchers for their co payment. The drug sells for the same price but you do not feel it as much because their coupon reduces or eliminates you co payment. This is obviously affecting their bottom line however, when some of the products you sell have markups of up to 4000 percent, they are likely to make you lose too much sleep about the reduced revenue. This will continue until they can no longer use this new tactic to keep you attached to their product or until you as the consumer realize you can live without this medical necessity.

Check the article out.

Have These Symptoms? Buy This Drug

By PAULINE W. CHEN, M.D.
It began suddenly a little over 10 years ago. With impressive fluency, friends, family members and patients started asking me about random medications, the odd syncopations of those invented, polysyllabic pharmaceutical brand names – Viagra, Lipitor — rolling perfectly off their tongues.The questions they asked about those drugs did not reflect breaking news or the results of scientific studies. Rather, they were a reflection of sound bites, advertisements and the draw of celebrities who endorsed them, all part of carefully conceived marketing schemes.

There’s no question that Americans like their prescription medications. We spend nearly twice as much per person on pharmaceuticals as patients in other developed countries do, and we account for nearly half of all sales worldwide. But in 1997, when the Food and Drug Administration loosened its regulations and the United States became one of only four countries to allow direct-to-consumer advertising (the others are New Zealand, Bangladesh and South Korea), we entered a new era in pharmaceutical consumerism.

Players in the drug industry began aiming their advertisements at patients, and their goal was to define in the minds of patients not only the beneficial effects of the drugs but also the diseases they were designed to treat.

As Vince Parry, a well-known marketing expert, continue reading here