It is not a secret that Big Pharma inundates us with numerous advertisements for their drugs. Anyone who watches television can attest to the massive amounts of drug commercials that run. The reason they run these ads is because they work!
The marketing for Big Pharma drugs used to be focused on the health care practitioners (physicians). But there has been a shift because today, pharmaceutical companies now spend many billions of dollars on marketing drugs to patients directly through television ads and other media. The Direct To Consumer marketing has increased by over 500% during the period from 1996 to 2004. The short story is that pharmaceutical companies spend many billions to influence how we think about drugs and health.
The commercials are always presented with lifestyle images and emotional themes. They are very seductive and subtle. They then associate the drug they are promoting with these images. They then encourage people to ‘Ask Your Doctor’ about the drug being featured. It is reported that many people do ask their doctors for drugs they have seen in these commercials. Many doctors say that patients often do not even know the purpose of the drug about which they are inquiring!
This is very disturbing because the positives of the drugs are pushed while the side effects are purposely minimized. The images are so powerful that the list of side effects that are read at the end of the commercial are nothing more than an afterthought. This constant barrage of advertisements about drugs condition viewers to see pharmaceutical drugs as a healthy part of life. But the truth is that pharmaceutical drugs are not the way to health. Adverse drug reactions cause approximately 100,000 deaths and 1.5 million hospitalizations per year.
And Big Pharma companies actually try to say that their ads are educational for viewers! That is a total lie! The goal of these companies is to sell their drugs. They do not spend billions of dollars to educate people. They spend the advertising money to get a return on these investments. If these ads didn’t sell more drugs, they would not pay for them.
This article is not directly related to cancer, but it is just more information to allow you to understand how the medical system functions. Although pharmaceutical companies are not directly a part of the medical infrastructure, they are one of the biggest parts of the medical system. They influence the regulators, and have many associations with the major medical institutions. In many cases, a lot of the government officials have been a part of the pharmaceutical companies. There is a lot of interplay and relations between the top administrators of government and these corporations. Don’t be a profit center for these people without being knowledgeable about these industry dynamics.