DTC Advertising – Direct to Consumer Advertising. Everyone has seen the “Ask your doctor about whocares, a new drug to help you sleep/screw/be-happy” commercials on the TV. These are the steaming turd in the diaper of medicine.
Lets take a stereotypical patient. While he/she is sitting around leeching on the taxpayer dollar watching Judge Judy and Maury (“You are NOT THE FATHER”), he sees a commercial for a new drug. The commercial is happy, wonderful, and promises a new life (in very vague terms) if you take this drug. “ASK YOUR DOCTOR ABOUT THIS”. So the idiot does.
Idiot goes to his doctors office, and after signing his name with drug-branded pens on a drug branded clipboard and gets seated in a drug-branded chair while looking at drug-branded posters on the walls, he sees the doctor (who has a drug-branded clipboard and a drug-branded stethoscope). He asks the doctor for the drug which he saw on the TV.
Now here is where I have the issue. You see, in a perfect world the patient wouldn’t have advertisements bombarding him that he SHOULD be on this, because in a perfect world someone with medical knowledge would make the judgment call on what medications the patient should be on due to the symptoms presented. The patient should have zero say in what he/she should be on, because he/she really doesn’t know enough to get the “whole picture”. The patient shouldn’t say “I WANT TO BE ON THIS BECAUSE THE TV SAYS SO” but “I am experiencing symptom X, what do you think”.
Its now NOT the doctor making the decisions on what drugs a patient should be on, but the patient and the TV. If the doctor says no, the patient will find another doctor who will say yes. Now I’m not one to turn down business, but there is a huge problem with most modern trade-name drugs:
- Insurance companies (if they pay for it) reimburse $2.50 on that $200 Rx. Its not even worth my time to even carry it.
- Most of the new trade-name only drugs are just “Me-Too” knock-offs because patents are expiring left and right. I really don’t give a rats ass that a once-daily drug is coming out with a new XR formulation that is…. ONCE DAILY. Seriously, who cares?
- All of the new and novel trade-name drugs aren’t the ones that are advertised on TV, only the shit patent-expiring crap.
- What the fuck is wrong with the generics that save the patient AND an overstressed health care system money? Oh, not advertised on TV.
If the generic drug companies didn’t have their heads up their asses, they would advertise on TV. “Watson Pharma! Bringing you quality generic Vicodin and Soma!”. However I really wish they would just shitcan all of the DTC marketing crap and leave the selection of drugs to the people with the education to do so.