Monthly Archives: December 2015

I’ve Had My Fill of Ads for Pills

I tolerated the fungus-fighting toe and the lady whose cat and dog’s bodies are the word sleep and wake. The lady who walks through a world where everything besides her appears to be made of white paper does kind of weird me out. But the final straw for me is the pile of intestines with the turtle legs and head.image

It seems like we are being bombarded with direct to consumer TV ads. Twenty-four billion dollars were spent on these ads in 2014 and 2015 is on pace to exceed last year. Pharmaceutical companies spend over twice that amount marketing their drugs to doctors.

With these advertising budgets, why are they paying people to create intestine turtles? The majority of ads either show adults enjoying fun activities and/or employ some kind of cartoonish material. I believe this is done to distract viewers from the long list of side effects, some of which might be fatal, that companies are required to include in the ad. Are you focusing on the cute sleep cat, or the line that says you might experience temporary paralysis upon waking?

So many of the drugs advertised do not cure the disease, but only help manage the symptoms and as for those nasty side effects, well they have a drug for that also. So as I take my medicine to help me sleep tonight, I worry whether I will get up and eat during the night in my sleep. I worry that I may not be able to move when the alarm sounds. I notice a twitching in my right eye. Is that a sign of dry eye? Is that spot on my toe fungus? Better get an appointment with my doctor and ask, and maybe he can get something for my nerves.

If you are interested in learning more about how new drugs are developed and marketed, you can read an article from Harvard University Center of Ethics here.

Image courtesy of jk 1991 at