Saturday, November 10, 2007

Drug commercials – lower the dose

Every day, we are bombarded with drug commercials to treat conditions like diabetes, restless leg syndrome, allergies, incontinence, impotence, migraine, depression, acid reflux, etc.

These commercials can be informative for those who aren’t aware that help exists for their conditions. But, how much of this is simply over-marketing? For example, are there that many people in the United States that have restless leg syndrome, to the point that TWO drugs are being touted, several times a day and several days a week? How could it be that there are so many men with impotence that the evening and weekend commercials need to be flooded with ads for several erectile dysfunction meds? I could go on, but you get the picture.

I’m not saying that these ads don’t provide a service by alerting people who are too embarrassed about their problem, or they don’t realize what they experience is a treatable problem. But shouldn’t we expect – and trust - that our doctors would help steer us to the proper medication for what ails us, rather than have the patient demand specific treatments? Can the advertisers have enough respect for our intelligence that they can show a commercial for their product a little less frequently and we’ll get the idea? For example, if their target audience is men, show the commercials once or twice on a Sunday during footballs games, rather than once every hour for 10 hours. I’m sure that people will get the message the first time it’s heard. And maybe then, less money would be spent on advertising and possibly the medication could be provided for a lower cost to the consumer.

Advertisers should think of drug commercials like we’re told to think about drugs – more does not necessarily mean better!

The Frequent Critic

No comments: