Junkfood Science: Name that Drug

November 16, 2007

Name that Drug

Doctor Wes (Dr. Westby G. Fisher, MD, FACC) has posted the results of last week’s reader challenge, along with some astounding facts. It’s obvious to everyone, and frequently covered here, that medical news has become little more than paid advertising - from the program sponsors.

Among the drug advertisements that most liter our news hour, the side effects should be clearly stated, according to FDA regulations. So, Dr. Wes dared his readers to match the side effect profiles of some of the most popular ads with the drug. Only 1% of his readers were up to the test.

Please read his full post. While this was fun, it also made some important points about drug marketing. And he added research to support his informal survey.

How many people would you guess have no clue what these drugs could do to them?

How much would you guess these drugs cost per pill and how much comes from advertising?

How much does a 30-second TV ad during primetime cost and how many drug ads appear during a typical evening news show?

Do you know how much revenue the broadcast networks make from drug companies?

While those answers will be astonishing, most readers will be able to guess the answer to his last question:

Who do you think is paying the pharmaceutical companies' advertising bills?

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