Are they really necessary?
One could debate for hours about whether they are right or not. I propose you don’t even have to go that far.
I propose that advertisements for drugs are simply unnecessary. If someone has enough of a problem with a "restless leg" so as to warrant taking a drug for it then they will go see the doctor and get something prescribed. Incidentally I’m referring to the bulk of the advertisements which are specifically in relation to prescription drugs i.e. you’d have to go get a prescription for the drug any way… yes you’d have to make the trip to the doctor. I could understand if you are so lazy that your legs have to tell you to get up of the sofa that this might be a problem for you.
Then there is the fact that if you have something so wrong with you that it warrants medical accommodation then surely you are going to go to the doctor any way. Was the advert necessary?
So you get to the doctor, and you speak to this highly educated individual. Are they not going to prescribe you with something relevant to your case? Is the ad necessary? "Yes!" I hear you cry. "It is for the drug company. They need the brand recognition so you choose their product". I shan’t get into drug design and development, time to market and drug company competition, or even generics. Mainly because I’m not qualified to. There are those who claim doctors themselves are corrupted, or at least influenced by the drug companies to ‘push’ their drug over another. I certainly wouldn’t be able to argue with a reasonable amount of information being distributed to doctors to educate them on the specifics of a latest drug. I’m sure some people would go further. Either way, why not spends your money there. On the point of referral, rather than on flashy advertising?
Of the top of my head I can think of only one reason [disclaimer: that doesn’t mean it’s the only one of course]. Let’s see this made up quote to get the gist of what’s banging around inside my brain box;
"Yes Frank I understand that the point of referral is important. But think about it. People are either liars or easily conned or subject to influence with false memories, perhaps even hypercondriacts. If we advertise the condition alongside our drug then we stir up their thoughts, concerns, fears and we get them to proactively visit the doctor. There they describe the symptoms in detail, heck Frank they might even believe it. And wham bam thank you mam… another sale. No! Another subscriber!"
Let me put one thing straight. If you have the unfortunate condition of restless leg syndrome and it really is causing you difficulty and agony, I feel for you and I hope it is manageable enough for you to leave a rich and fulfilling life. I am not dismissing your pain. I am also not dismissing the drug industry for coming up with a solution to this pain. Modern medicine on one hand is marvelous! But if you have RLS and it is impacting your life you will go to a doctor. You will search the internet for information and like minded individuals and you will get help.
If something is unnecessary and it encourages people to take a controlled substance. Should it be legal?
Like I said, I’m not an expert. I’m just your average, critically thinking man on the street and I just had to ask; is the advertising of prescription drugs necessary? I’ll let you make your mind up on that one… I have this uncanny urge to get up and move around.
Bye for now!
For your further enjoyment: Hate heart burn? Prefer heart attack?