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Drug Co TV Ads - Benefits outweigh the risks?
Old 11-19-2015, 01:38 PM   #1
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Drug Co TV Ads - Benefits outweigh the risks?

The example below is by no means the worst, but who would accept those risks for a success rate as low as 14% to quit smoking. Is a 14% Chantix success rate worth risking death?

I was listening to a drug TV ad yesterday where I swear they spent a moment talking about the "benefit" of the drug, and the remaining 90% of the ad time describing the many possible horrible side effects - while showing appealing people and pleasant images the whole time. It seems all the drug ads are 90% horrible side effects these days. DW and I rarely use any drug beyond aspirin, so we don't really care, but I often wonder how they sell any of the heavily promoted sophisticated modern drugs...

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Some people have had changes in behavior, hostility, agitation, depressed mood, suicidal thoughts or actions while using CHANTIX to help them quit smoking. Some people had these symptoms when they began taking CHANTIX, and others developed them after several weeks of treatment or after stopping CHANTIX. If you, your family, or caregiver notice agitation, hostility, depression, or changes in behavior, thinking, or mood that are not typical for you, or you develop suicidal thoughts or actions, anxiety, panic, aggression, anger, mania, abnormal sensations, hallucinations, paranoia, or confusion, stop taking CHANTIX and call your doctor right away. Also tell your doctor about any history of depression or other mental health problems before taking CHANTIX, as these symptoms may worsen while taking CHANTIX.

Some people can have serious skin reactions while taking CHANTIX, some of which can become life-threatening. These can include rash, swelling, redness, and peeling of the skin. Some people can have allergic reactions to CHANTIX, some of which can be life-threatening and include: swelling of the face, mouth, and throat that can cause trouble breathing. If you have these symptoms or have a rash with peeling skin or blisters in your mouth, stop taking CHANTIX and get medical attention right away.
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Old 11-19-2015, 02:10 PM   #2
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I heard an item on the news today that the USA and New Zealand are the only 2 developed countries in the world that allow drug companies to market directly to consumers.

Most consumers can't weigh the risks against the benefits as well as their doctors, but they can certainly put the pressure on their doctors that the drug they saw on TV is just what they need.
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Old 11-19-2015, 02:39 PM   #3
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I heard an item on the news today that the USA and New Zealand are the only 2 developed countries in the world that allow drug companies to market directly to consumers.

Most consumers can't weigh the risks against the benefits as well as their doctors, but they can certainly put the pressure on their doctors that the drug they saw on TV is just what they need.
I wouldn't like it if the government prohibited a company/person from passing truthful information to people. If the health care providers or insurance companies are feeling pressure, then they need to provide people with their own information that makes their case (marketplace of ideas, and all that).
But, the quantity of these drug company ads is amazing/appalling. Watch a late night show and it seems about 20% of the ads are these 90-120 second spots for this or that drug. It obviously works, but man, there must be a lot of money in that business! The question is how we use the free market to make it more profitable for them to do R&D with that money than buy advertising.
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Old 11-19-2015, 02:39 PM   #4
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CYA... I don't think anyone pays much attention to the disclaimers. Plus, did one person have a bad experience, or many?

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Old 11-19-2015, 02:55 PM   #5
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They have to list every AE(adverse effect) that anyone had during any stage of testing. That involves thousands of people. Not all AE's are caused by the drug. When in a clinic, a subject may report a headache. That headache may be from lack of sleep or noisy environment, not related to the drug. He may report an upset stomach. That may be from the food that they are forced to eat in some studies not from the drug itself. They may report aches and pains. Those are likely caused by the hospital beds not the drugs.

Look at this list of side effects for Advil. Looks bad but how many people do you know who have had any problem from taking a reasonable amount of Advil?
Advil Side Effects in Detail - Drugs.com
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Old 11-19-2015, 07:47 PM   #6
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My take is, the stuff advertised heavily is great stuff, except it has a hundred ways to kill you.

I wish they would stop the medicine ads and while at it get rid of the "if you have a phone you have a lawyer" ads too.
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Old 11-19-2015, 08:10 PM   #7
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My take is, the stuff advertised heavily is great stuff, except it has a hundred ways to kill you.

I wish they would stop the medicine ads and while at it get rid of the "if you have a phone you have a lawyer" ads too.
Well said! And especially the sex drug ads at dinner time.
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Old 11-19-2015, 08:35 PM   #8
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The evening news is brought to you by today's wonder drug company while the news at noon is sponsored by the lawyers wanting you to sue last years wonder drug manufacturer.

Both law and medicine were not allowed to advertise when I was a kid.


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Old 11-19-2015, 08:37 PM   #9
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They have to list every AE(adverse effect) that anyone had during any stage of testing. That involves thousands of people. Not all AE's are caused by the drug. When in a clinic, a subject may report a headache. That headache may be from lack of sleep or noisy environment, not related to the drug. He may report an upset stomach. That may be from the food that they are forced to eat in some studies not from the drug itself. They may report aches and pains. Those are likely caused by the hospital beds not the drugs. ...
Exactly. I thought most people knew this. It was one of the compromises that Pharma made to be able to advertise. It does seem odd that there is no scale given to benefits versus possible side effects. And it does seem odd that they would even want to advertise if they have to add all these (probably overstated) negatives. But I guess it works.

As far as people putting 'pressure' on their docs - the doc can just say 'no - that is not appropriate for you'. If docs are going to prescribe anything we ask for, why do we need a prescription? Make everything OTC. If a doc can't say 'no' top a patient, they should have their licence taken away, IMO. It's part of their job, they have the medical training, not most patients.

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Old 11-19-2015, 11:06 PM   #10
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The other thing about the ads is that everybody is having a great time... who is listening to the possible bad side effects it might cause...

Also, damn the costs... as an example, my oldest sister had her doc talk to her about her cholesterol and the new drug you can inject.... IIRC, she said the cost was $14K per year... she passed on it....
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Old 11-20-2015, 07:04 AM   #11
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Well said! And especially the sex drug ads at dinner time.

But you may want to have sex for dessert! Not a bad idea...
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Old 11-20-2015, 07:32 AM   #12
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Well said! And especially the sex drug ads at dinner time.
We don't watch tv at dinner... But I have found myself wanting to scatter pairs of bathtubs all over our property - looking out at the views.

I have a hard time feeling big Pharma is OK spending big $$ advertising and charging big $$$ for drugs here in the US, but lower prices in other countries.

I find it ironic that sometimes in the same commercial block you'll have 1 or 2 drug ads, as well as a class action lawsuit against a drug company ad.... Both are annoying.
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Old 11-20-2015, 07:55 AM   #13
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I cant believe people still watch commercials at all. DVR!!
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Old 11-20-2015, 08:14 AM   #14
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We don't watch tv at dinner... But I have found myself wanting to scatter pairs of bathtubs all over our property - looking out at the views.

I have a hard time feeling big Pharma is OK spending big $$ advertising and charging big $$$ for drugs here in the US, but lower prices in other countries.

I find it ironic that sometimes in the same commercial block you'll have 1 or 2 drug ads, as well as a class action lawsuit against a drug company ad.... Both are annoying.
Yeah that gets me too: the huge advertising budgets, the army of nicely dressed pushy reps visiting doctors offices so often, the prices set sky high, the patent machinations, the pro-product research funding.
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Old 11-20-2015, 08:37 AM   #15
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Lazy Boy wrote about this:

You know we have more prescription drugs now.
Every commercial that comes on TV is a prescription drug ad.
I can't watch TV for four minutes without thinking I have five serious diseases.
Like: "Do you ever wake up tired in the morning?"
Oh my god I have this, write this down. Whatever it is, I have it.
Half the time I don't even know what the commercial is:
people running in fields or flying kites or swimming in the ocean.
I'm like that is the greatest disease ever. How do you get that?
That disease comes with a hot chick and a puppy


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Old 11-20-2015, 08:51 AM   #16
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The side effects from smoking itself are pretty bad. And I had all the Chantix side effects (and more but in a good way ) from quitting smoking (I loved smoking) decades before antismoking prescriptions were a glimmer in big pharma's eye:

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Some people have had changes in behavior, hostility, agitation, depressed mood, suicidal thoughts or actions.... agitation, hostility, depression, or changes in behavior, thinking, or mood; suicidal thoughts or actions, anxiety, panic, aggression, anger, mania, abnormal sensations, hallucinations, paranoia, or confusion.....
So many people seem to think the medical profession is in bed with the pharmaceuitical companies (see threads on cholesterol, statins, etc.,), that we might as well be self-prescribing. I don't mind knowing what is being pitched to my doctor. I am seeing her today and she always welcomes my thoughts on treatments.

The grossest commercial is the cartoon where a constipated woman is carrying around a brown bulging bag throughout. Ewww. Who comes up with this stuff?
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Old 11-20-2015, 08:52 AM   #17
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The evening news is brought to you by today's wonder drug company while the news at noon is sponsored by the lawyers wanting you to sue last years wonder drug manufacturer.
LOL! I never thought about it that way but you're right!

Whenever we saw the commercial for a particular male performance enhancement drug cautioning that you should call your doctor if the effects lasted more than 3 hours, DH would say, "If the effects last that long I'm going to call all the women in the neighborhood".

I think that advertising by pharma companies is keeping a lot of magazines afloat financially, but it also contributes to over-use of meds, and use of more expensive meds because that's what the patient saw on TV. Most people have access to the Internet, and even to specific boards devoted to particular diseases or conditions, where real people can discuss what works and what doesn't. We don't need commercials to keep informed about the latest treatments.
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Old 11-20-2015, 10:20 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
As far as people putting 'pressure' on their docs - the doc can just say 'no - that is not appropriate for you'. If docs are going to prescribe anything we ask for, why do we need a prescription? Make everything OTC. If a doc can't say 'no' top a patient, they should have their licence taken away, IMO. It's part of their job, they have the medical training, not most patients.
Follow the money. Doctors are highly incentivized - about 7 times as motivated as patients...
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Still, spending on direct-to-consumer ads is just a fraction of what the pharmaceutical industry spends marketing directly to health-care providers to prescribe their products. For instance, when drugmakers' direct-to-consumer marketing dropped to $3.5 billion in 2012, the firms spent $24 billion promoting their wares directly to doctors. That method of advertising is finally starting to become more transparent, thanks to new federal requirements.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...ads-than-ever/
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Old 11-20-2015, 10:28 AM   #19
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All those big pharma ads on tv..."ask your doctor if xxx is right for you."

I get it..make a doctors appointment then ask your drug dealer (doctor) if you can try xxx pills. Makes sense.
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Old 11-20-2015, 10:31 AM   #20
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Whenever we saw the commercial for a particular male performance enhancement drug cautioning that you should call your doctor if the effects lasted more than 3 hours, DH would say, "If the effects last that long I'm going to call all the women in the neighborhood".
I know your husband is joking but anything lasting over 3 hours has the potential for permanent nerve damage...rendering the male appendage essentially useless. So hes kinda right...may want to have as much fun as possible before its over with for good.
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