Arthro-Pilates and Lupus





Honest Drug Advertising… Just a Ploy


If you’ve been watching television lately, then surely you must have seen those advertisements for medications that feel the need to tell us all the bad side effects associated with that drug. It certainly doesn’t make me want to run to my doctor asking for her to write me a prescription.

Or does it? Warnings of “death” associated with heart medication leaves me scratching my head in bewilderment and the obvious contradiction makes me wonder if it is necessary to tell us absolutely everything. Or is this in actuality some sort of backward marketing scheme designed by advertising agencies and their client drug companies that want us to believe that they are the “good guys” acting responsibly, not out to just sell a product and make money but to tell us the truth. Claims of  “ringing in ears, irregular heart beat and the possibility of lymphoma” makes arthritis sound much more appealing than the drugs used to treat the illness. And the guy in the commercial who is shown running because he now has freedom of movement must be unaware of these announced side effects and of the fact that he will soon have a life threatening illness to add to the list.

The advertisements for anti-depressant medications seem to be the worst offender of this strange advertising ploy and announcements on television of “This medication may cause weight gain, anxiety, vision problems, sexual dysfunction and suicidal thoughts” are at the very least disturbing if not frighteningly ironic. If I actually were depressed why would I want to take a drug that could cause me to get fat, and leave me unable to have an orgasm? Maybe that’s why it causes suicidal thoughts! If I wasn’t depressed before taking the drug I sure will be after.

It seems that these days we live in a tell-all society. But if we are compelled to speak the truth about what we are selling let’s not be hypocritical and instead go all the way. The next time I see a Macdonald’s commercial on TV I want to see Ronald Macdonald on the screen saying “Eating this fast food may cause clogged arteries, obesity in children, and bad eating habits. And the next time I see an advertisement for a weight loss program, I want to hear “may cause bad moods, loss of hard earned cash, and eventually more weight gain.

So-called “honest advertising” is just a scheme designed by drug companies to burn the name of the drug they are selling deep into our subconscious by making the side effects sound so alarming that we can’t seem to ever forget it. Just another ploy to make us buy. And there’s nothing honest about that!


©Lori Weisbrod


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