Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Direct to consumer pharmaceutical ads, or how the american public forgot why government regulations exist in the first place
The next question should be, why is this crap on TV at all? If you really needed a medicine don’t you think your doctor would know about it and recommend it to you?
Now besides the many problems with the for-profit “disease care” system that we have in America today, the rise of direct to consumer drug ads is a clear cut case of powerful lobbying and government agencies doing the bidding of corporations rather than the people. And no one seems to realize these ads are a relatively new development.
Starting in 1997 the FDA changed their rules governing how much you actually had to say about your drug in a TV ad. In response to these loosened rules (which I am sure the lobbyists for big pharama had nothing to do with) the drug industry went hog wild, increasing their spending on these ads from $590 million in 1996 to more than $4 billion in 2004. I shudder to think what the numbers are today.
Why then, if Americans really hate these ads don’t they demand that their government stop these annoying and hypochondriac-creating ads?
We don’t even realize what happened. Our government decided that it was more important for the big drug makers to spend even more of the money we give them on advertising rather than R&D. And now we just accept the status-quo as the way it always was and the way it always will be.
I know this is a small problem but it speaks volumes about how disconnected Americans are from their government. People think the government is incompetent and lazy. On the contrary, the government can do wonders for you if you have the lobbyists to push for years and spend millions on campaign contributions.
Posted by Erik Magnuson at 10:40 PM