Posted by: CarolAnn | August 7, 2009

Shut up and take the Blue Pill! 5 Reasons why Prescription Drug Advertising on Television should be banned

The Magical "Blue Pill"

The Magical "Blue Pill"

Suffer from ED, high anxiety, memory problems, restless leg syndrome, myocardial infarction, obesity, joint pain, muscle cramps, frequent urination, dizziness, headaches, menstrual cramps, diarrhea, no energy, depression, diabetes, bone density loss? Never mind the doctor, demand the blue pill you saw on TV last night just after dinner.


Recently, the Ron Reagan Show discussed the pros and cons, and potential banning of television prescription drug ads. (Should Prescription Drug Ads be Banned? – Air America Radio) although a hot-trigger topic, I felt compelled to weigh in on this controversial subject.

On the show, caller reaction was mixed. While some individuals voiced opinions on the pros of prescription drug advertising – others held strong beliefs against why prescription drug advertising should not be on television. A couple of callers were thoroughly disgusted (albeit left-field) over TV ads for Viagra® because they didn’t feel like they needed to explain what an erection was to their young children. Putting aside feelings about awkward television advertising moments, here are five reasons why RX advertising on television should be banned:

1. Got a bullet wound? Put a Band-Aid on it! cbl-bandiadIn a nation where society eagerly looks for a “quick fix” for mental, physical, and yes, even sexual disorders – TV prescription advertising does little to curb harmful tendencies toward poor health. Instead of promoting better lifestyle habits, the pharmaceutical industry wants you to take their meds to give you a temporary fix for symptoms that have underlying causes. Until you get to the root of a problem, you are no better off taking one pill, two pills, three pills, or more to mask root health issues. In some cases, one prescription drug can lead to other habit-forming medications that are eventually facilitated to counteract negative effects of the initial prescription. How many meds are you taking right now for one condition?

2. Desensitizing stigmas. One of the callers on the Ron Reagan Show mentioned that because of television prescription advertising, she was better equipped with information to discuss potential disorders with her spouse. After the fact, they were able to seek adequate treatment for otherwise uncomfortable physical and mental health issues. This may be fine in a case-by-case basis; however, if pharmaceutical industries really want to “inform” the public, they can do so by investing funding towards health channels that discuss certain physical and/or mental conditions; and the real-live people that are affected by these diseases and disorders. Secondly, the CDC offers a plethora of pamphlets and public information webpages on countless health problems. People need to get a clue and start investigating health issues by taking control of the information they receive and from where they attain it. Everyone wants to be a doctor, but unfortunately, we can’t always self-diagnose more complicated health problems. Consulting with a quality healthcare professional, including conventional medical practitioners, chiropractors, acupuncturists, certified nutritionists, naturopathic physicians, and licensed massage therapists (among other healthcare fields) can be the first step to discovering what it is that is ailing you. If you can’t communicate with your family doctor, or vice versa, then you need to find another doctor or healthcare practitioner who is able to do so.

3. Raising the bar. Society, in general, must raise the bar and bare the weight of their personal responsibility of healthy living. If you are what you eat; rather, you become what you eat, then why are you putting junk into your body? cbl-hamburgerWhile all the tasty morsels are oh-so delicious, they’re also packed full of fat, cholesterol, sugar, artificial flavoring and colors, unnatural preservatives, and other crazy additives. You see, pharmaceutical moneymakers don’t truly want you to eat healthy, because as long as you’re eating crapola, the greater the demand for unnecessary meds. I can honestly say that if I eat at Mickey D’s, I’m going to pay for it for the next three days of my life. In my case, it’s a fact. If I eat greasy potato chips or highly acidic foods, I’m going to get heartburn. Period. If I drink loads of pop or ingest other high-carb foods, I’m not going to get a good night’s rest. Sometimes, I think the junk food industry works hand in hand with the pharmaceutical industry – makes perfect sense to me. One has to go from the television airwaves.

4. At least if you’re a schizophrenic, you’re not lonely. I actually read that in a tweet, but unfortunately, television prescription advertising is no laughing matter. Whether you have or don’t have a particular health problem, RX  TV ads beg to differ with your unlikely concerns. C’mon, we all get headaches, we all get back aches, we all suffer from indigestion from time to time, but do we really need to second-guess our common health disorders because a television ad is telling us that “Levitra® might be right for you if…” Okay, poor example. I don’t suffer from ED, but you get the gist. It’s also negatively impacting the way some doctors perceive their patients. Not all folks are hypochondriacs. There are an unlucky few, who really suffer from serious, even terminal conditions that require immediate health treatments. Because so many people are going to their doctors and demanding meds for something they “might have,” doctors can’t and don’t always take health complaints seriously enough. I can just hear ‘em saying: “There’s that Margaret again with her wish list of RXs she saw on TV…poor woman, she’s such a hypochondriac.” This leads me to the final and probably most important reason why TV prescription ads should be banned:

5. RX Ads make us sick! cbl-sickfaceSome individuals are emotionally wired to the power of suggestibility. Ever heard the old quote by Henry Ford, “If you think you can or can’t, you’re right”?  Well, that’s true. But in the case of prescription drug ads, you are bombarded with “symptoms” that you may or may not be experiencing. And if you’re not having those symptoms, you might start tying other symptoms to those symptoms. Got a leg cramp? You might have DVT (deep vein thrombosis). Got a head ache? You might have a tumor. Got a pain in the neck, suffer from lack of energy? You might have fibromyalgia…and you might just need Lyrica® to quell your symptoms. I’m not saying that people don’t really have underlying conditions, but in some cases, the more you’re subjected to subliminal advertising, the more you might start believing there might be something terribly wrong with you.

 Just some thoughts…


Shut up and take the Blue Pill! 5 Reasons why Prescription Drug Advertising on Television should be banned

© Copyright – ALL Rights Reserved

by CarolAnnB – Social Media Sorceress


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