The Honking Goose

something to honk about

just say no to pharmaceutical ads

I just can’t stand ads for prescription medications on TV.  How is it okay to publicly advertise to such a wide audience something that can only be taken with a doctor’s prescription?  It reminds me of the bad old days when companies used to able to advertise cigarettes on television.

As a parent of young children, I’m really sensitive about what they listen to and watch.  Their minds are like sponges.  I don’t want them infiltrated with the subliminal message that its totally normal to take multiple prescription medications for everything from chronically dry eyes to clinical depression.

If someone truly needs a prescription med, fine, I’m not against that at all.  Let their doctor diagnose their symptoms and prescribe the right medication.  Regular everyday people without medical degrees should not be assessing their own symptoms and looking around for medications to treat them.

Image source: I stole this off the internet

Image source: Internet

And kids and naive adults alike should not be exposed to commercials advertising pharmaceuticals complete with horrifyingly long lists of potential side effects.  I think it sends an errant and potentially dangerous message to pliant and susceptible minds.  I hope the law will catch up with these harmful practices and make it illegal to advertise prescription medications to the general public.

Are my concerns silly?  Or do you agree with me?  I’d like to know that you think…

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73 comments on “just say no to pharmaceutical ads

  1. Sam B
    September 25, 2016

    50 years from now people will look back on all the drug ads with horror and wonder how it ever could have been allowed. They’re harmful and very irritating.

    Like

  2. NicoLite Великий
    November 19, 2014

    It’s a side effect of the medicalized society. When something goes wrong, then the person doing tbe wrong thing must be wrong somewhere, and there must be some way to right the wrong. In comes a diagnosis, and a magical pill! I have my share of experience, where medicine is absolutely positively undeniably and reliably necessary to keep on living. For me, medicine is something you take if you absolutely cannot do without. I need to truly suffer before I even consider taking an Ibuprofen. I haven’t taken aspirin in 10 years. I could do something about my heart burn: eat less and do more excercise. All this unnecessary medicine makes one lose their edginess, and we don’t need more boring people. My best friend needs antidepressants to not constantly contemplating suicide. But those drugs, that help him break the loop of suicidal thoughts, they also block out fun thoughts, creative thoughts. You can’t think outside the box when you cant even think the box.

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      November 20, 2014

      It’s too bad more people don’t have your attitude about taking medications.

      Like

  3. Choose Control
    November 19, 2014

    Absolutely agree! The US is one of a few countries where this is even legal. Studies have shown that patients going to see their health care provider are more likely to leave with a prescription if they ask for the medication by name. So the advertising is working (to get their medication prescribed more) and this is most likely harmful. I’ve seen some pharmaceutical company-sponsored promos that are educational about a condition for example, which is better. As a pharmacist, I would be in favor of banning direct-to-consumer advertising for prescription medications. At least most people realize pharmacies and pharmacists have nothing to do with the pharmaceutical industry, so it’s not our fault the medications are so expensive!

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      November 20, 2014

      Tobacco ads were banned from television and I consider these prescription medication ads to be even more dangerous. I hope soon they will be illegal, too.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. divorcedandsingleblog
    November 19, 2014

    I agree. i can’t stand that either. In Poland most of the ads on TV are for medications, so are billboards. It’s pretty disturbing.

    Like

  5. Quest Sickle
    November 19, 2014

    I totally agree with you. The list of side effects I hear on some medicine commercials just creep me out. If it needs a prescription, why advertise it?

    Like

  6. gh0stpupp3t
    November 19, 2014

    I hear you. I raised my nephew from birth to 13. You are totally right

    Like

  7. ljaylj
    November 19, 2014

    Thanks for saying it out loud. I researched one (I don’t remember the condition) but it was for a condition that only 77,000 to 100,000 people in the US have…seems like an awful lot of commercials for a condition that affects such a small percentage of the population. Also, a few appointments ago I handed my doctor a piece of paper with a list of about 20 drugs that the ads said to ask if these were right for me. She looked at the list, paused, looked at me and then said, “Oh, this is a joke, right?” 🙂

    Like

  8. hya21
    November 19, 2014

    I’m more alarmed by the “might cause death” warning at the end of the ad that is said so quickly that you might miss it.

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      November 19, 2014

      I’m alarmed that people know it might cause death, but they’re still willing to take it to relieve some completely minor affliction.

      Like

  9. Swarn Gill
    November 19, 2014

    What I don’t understand is how something can lead to constipation or diarrhea. Aren’t those on the opposite ends of the spectrum. What ingredient in the medicine can make you go either way? lol

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      November 19, 2014

      Yeah, that’s funny, in the way that things that are not really funny at all are sometimes funny.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. cllgarrison
    November 19, 2014

    Aren’t they terrible? I saw an ad for Humira to treat plaque psoriasis. My mother took Humira to help ease her symptoms of debilitating crohn’s disease. It worked by basically ruining her immune system and was a last ditch effort to give her relief. But the people who make Humira want people with freaking psoriasis to ask for it? Totally irresponsible. Not to mention each injection costs thousands of dollars without insurance, but they don’t advertise that, do they?

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      November 19, 2014

      Yeah no mention whatever of the cost. That might turn people away, if the long list of side effects didn’t.

      Like

  11. laserkicks
    November 19, 2014

    This post reminded me of Jonathan Coulton’s awesome song “I Feel Fantastic”. You should check it out and listen to the lyrics – he describes in a sarcastic way the life of a person in a world where there’s a pill for EVERYTHING.

    My favourite line is “All I know is my steak tastes better when I take my steak-tastes-better pill” 😀

    Thumbs up, we don’t have these kinds of ads in our country, but I still feel for you guys.

    Like

  12. darkinkling
    November 19, 2014

    Your concerns aren’t silly. Pharma companies have way too much power. They influence congress and tilt the way laws or made. They use native advertising and over- or mis-advertise illnesses to boost their sales. You have every right to be concerned. So much bad comes from large pharma companies but which news and PR is closed monitored. What the public knows is just the tip of a very large iceberg. It’s natural to worry about what goes into your kid’s heads. Messages today may shape who they are and what they become addicted to in the near future.

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      November 19, 2014

      Yes, I totally agree with you, especially about what the public knows is only the tip of the iceberg.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Kimberly
    November 18, 2014

    I think you’re correct in what you say. We quit watching mainstream TV. First of, bug pharma and the gov are in cahoots. They want to keep society drugged up so they can control them. Don’t get me stated on this mess…

    Like

  14. Éilis Niamh
    November 18, 2014

    Completely agree!

    Like

  15. rabbiadar
    November 18, 2014

    I HATE those stupid ads! If I don’t need the drug, why should I hear about it? And if I do, my doc will tell me, and she will do a better job of telling me about potential side effects, without getting into grotty bits that I didn’t need to hear. I change the channel with the darn things come on. I think they should be illegal.

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      November 18, 2014

      They should definitely be illegal. I think they are even worse than cigarette commercials and those are illegal. I always put them on mute, especially when my kids are listening/watching, but even just for myself – I don’t want to hear that stuff!

      Like

  16. thebeautifiedblogger
    November 18, 2014

    I 100% agree with you! I feel like the subliminal messages in those ads will influence kids and people after hearing/seeing the ads over and over again. I always get so annoyed when pharmaceutical ads come on TV! Whenever they run down the long list of side affects I always sarcastically say to myself “well that sounds pleasant”! Great and though provoking post!

    Like

  17. christianliving2014
    November 18, 2014

    I completely agree! I’m going holistic.

    Like

  18. grannyK
    November 18, 2014

    I very much agree! There are tons of them now, too. Closely followed by attorneys advertising to sue the companies selling the drugs. I do not miss regular television at all. I only watch Netflix now when I want to watch something. No ads. *contented sigh*

    Like

  19. simplygiselle
    November 18, 2014

    The Pharm Companies are scaring the public into believing that medication is the only answer to everything no matter what the side effects. Restless leg, a day of feeling blue (not clinical depression), inconvenienced by having your period every month, the list goes on and on. What this must do to a child is just sickening and irresponsible but money rules the world; let’s throw out all common sense.

    Like

  20. Victo Dolore
    November 18, 2014

    Direct advertising of pharmaceuticals should without question be banned. It won’t be, though. Too much political clout from the industry.

    Like

  21. Dragnfli
    November 18, 2014

    When I see all those ads and think of the hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on them, I can’t help but think that’s one of the primary reasons my medications are so expensive.

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      November 18, 2014

      Not cool at all. You can clearly see the pharmaceutical companies aren’t in this business to help people, just to make lots of money.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. John
    November 18, 2014

    This is a disgusting thing and is not allowed in other countries. I am also sick to death of the drug companies being in bed with the government and whoever else to push this garbage like candy. Just as the alcohol companies do.

    It also reminds me of how furious I get when waiting for a doctor appointment and one of these so and so drug reps just walk right into the doctor office and talk to the doctors. Ummm, excuse me but I was here first – and also do not want the doctor distracted by some legalized drug pushing pimp. Sorry….

    Like

  23. Mr. Flying Pig
    November 18, 2014

    Yes. I totally agree. Prescription drugs never used to be allowed on TV, but the pharmaceutical companies lobbied to have the FCC remove the ban and it opened up pandora’s box. Hopefully, if enough people complain to their congressmen, the restriction will be put back into place. It will take a lot of complaints though, The pharmaceutical companies have a lot of money to put towards not letting that happen.

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      November 18, 2014

      Cigarette ads were banned and that was a good thing. But these drug ads are even worse in my mind and need to be banned as well.

      Like

  24. Elyse
    November 18, 2014

    I’m totally against drug advertising, and have been for a long time. I can recall the exact moment — it was my first time seeing a Cialis ad, advertising sexual help for a couple in two separate bathtubs. If they’d just go into one, they wouldn’t need the damn drug!

    Like

  25. theanimekpopblogger270
    November 18, 2014

    IKR like why should we take it because if people needed it they would ask the doctor so why does the public need to see these ads?

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      November 18, 2014

      I’m horrified that anyone would ask their doctor for a medication. If they need a medication, their doctor is the only person who should determine that and what it should be. Jeez.

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Jim woods
    November 18, 2014

    Reblogged this on ThinknSpeak and commented:
    Do you agree? I do

    Like

  27. Jim woods
    November 18, 2014

    I totally agree with your viewpoint. There is so much addiction and death because of prescription drugs being so freely available via the internet and other modes of advertising. All pharmaceutical ads should be banned. If they can block sites like pirate bay they can surely block the internet medical suppliers.

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      November 18, 2014

      It needs to happen, for safety reasons. You are so right. Addiction to prescription drugs is a serious problem.

      Like

  28. blissinger
    November 18, 2014

    Even worse than the list of potential side effects is the message of the commercial: that “there’s a pill for” whatever ails you. Imagine the pressure put upon doctors by patients influenced by these commercials, and how easy it must be to just scribble out a prescription rather than look further into the cause of an ailment…especially an ailment of the mind, like depression.

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      November 18, 2014

      It is scary to think about the mindset of children who grow up listening to this legalized drug pushing. Will they be able to question the benefit of these drugs or will they just accept them blindly?

      Like

  29. bitofaworrier
    November 18, 2014

    I am in the UK and have been over to the U.S. On holiday (vacation 😄) and I found this so strange. Spent a night in a motel with to on all night and couldn’t get over how many drug ads there were. We have some but they are no where near ur scale.

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      November 18, 2014

      Legalized drug pushing on television. I can’t believe this freakin’ country. And I hate to think of what this is doing on a subconscious level to children that grow up hearing these commercials.

      Like

  30. mjmsprt40
    November 18, 2014

    “Ask your doctor if a punch in the nose is right for you!”

    Uh—- how about “no”?

    OK— these days I’m an oddball in more ways than one apparently. I barely watch TV– imagine that. Further, only a few months short of my 60th birthday, my medicine cabinet is barren. I hardly even take aspirin, and then only when I absolutely have to. I know people my age who have the CVS Pharmacy in their medicine chests, you name it and they have a prescription for it.

    Too many of these drugs are dangerous to boot— take a good look at the list of potential side-effects and see if you want that stuff running around in your body unless you REALLY have to have it to live. A case in point– these days they’re practically prescribing Viagra as a recreational drug, and the stuff carries warnings about everything from potential blindness to death. It was originally supposed to be a heart medication for a serious condition, now it’s being used by people who want to have a good time tonight. Unless you REALLY need it—- how about “no”?

    Like

    • dbp49
      November 18, 2014

      And its not just medications either, how about the daily bathing some people subject their bodies to with colognes, perfumes, body washes, deodorants, anti-bacterial soaps, general make-up, etc., etc. Has anyone ever looked at the list of chemicals these thing are made up of, and then asked themselves if this is actually what they want to plaster all over the most sensitive areas of their bodies, each and every day of their lives. You could strip paint off of metal with half this stuff, and don’t even get me started on soft drinks which they do use to strip paint off of metal. I’m with you honkinggoose, just say no.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mjmsprt40
        November 18, 2014

        Some of that may be necessary. I don’t know about you, but personally I’d rather not be in the cab of a truck with a person who doesn’t believe in soap on a hot summer day. But, to each his own I guess.

        Like

        • dbp49
          November 18, 2014

          I guess I should have been a little clearer in my point. It wasn’t that we should abandon hygiene, it was that we might want to limit some of the excess. A person can be clean without having to smell like he/she fell into a vat of old spice. I shall attempt in the future to speak more clearly.

          Like

      • thehonkinggoose
        November 18, 2014

        Most cheap perfumes and colognes use alcohol as a carrier (even ethanol which is poisonous when inhaled). When I smell that it is all I smell, not the scent it is supposed to be. I can’t believe people don’t smell that, but they get desensitized to it. Yuck. I totally agree with you.

        Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      November 18, 2014

      I know, right? “Ask your doctor if permanently damaging side effects are right for you!”

      Like

  31. Norbert Haupt
    October 8, 2014

    Reblogged this on Norbert Haupt and commented:
    In the couple of hours after coming home from work and eating, I like to flip back and forth between MSNBC (my primary interest focused on the Rachel Maddow show) and Fox News (to get a dose of the other side – although I don’t last too long over there) and I feel that I am bombarded with pharmaceutical ads, mostly to cure erectile dysfunction, but constantly trumpeting awful and horrible side effects. The ads have me convinced that even if I had erectile dysfunction I would under no circumstances use any of those horrible drugs. Do those ads actually work? Given that they play night after night, year after year, they must.
    Get off my TV, I yell, before I switch the channel, hoping the get a break on the other one.
    Then I saw this blog post here by The Honking Goose, telling me to just say no.
    No!

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      November 18, 2014

      It is a wonder to me too that these ads even work after listing all the scary side effects. It seems like it would be a warning to not take them. It is to me, anyway!

      Like

  32. ANONOFF
    September 28, 2014

    Marketing medication is bonkers as is the pharmaceutical industry. My concern (like yours) with kids/people watching these commercials is that they believe them. Images of happy families and beautiful scenery aren’t things they think they should question. Another unfortunate side effect of these commercials (ha ha) is that we are teaching kids/people to doubt other alternatives. It’s shocking to me that some people mock natural remedies and Eastern “medicine” which majorly consists of natural herbs, etc. Science/technology is great and can be necessary but sometimes I feel like we “baby” ourselves by immediately turning to medication. I’d love to know how different the world might be if we actually prioritized healthy lifestyle choices. And maybe the world would be relatively the same- but I’d still like to know.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thehonkinggoose
      September 28, 2014

      Exactly. There are safer alternatives, but they are less profitable, so they get less publicity, and people mistakenly attribute that to mean those solutions have less credibility.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Kimberly
      November 18, 2014

      Me to @Anonoff

      Like

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This entry was posted on November 16, 2014 by in Unsolicited Advice and tagged , , , , , , .
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