March 16th, 2014
Do You Like Direct to Consumer Drug Ads? Get Ready for Direct to Consumer Radiation Ads
By Martha Rosenberg
Seventeen years after direct-to-consumer (DTC) drug advertising was instituted in the US, 70 percent of adults and 25 percent of children are on at least one prescription drug. Topping the adult pill category for central nervous system drugs is--surprise!--antidepressants which are used by an astounding one in four women between 50 and 64. Topping the pill category for children 12 to 17 is--another surprise!--ADHD meds, though kids increasingly take blood pressure, diabetes and insomnia meds too. (Babies are actually given GERD medicine for spitting up.) Twenty percent of the population is now on five or more prescription medications. Ka-ching.
DTC advertising has done two pernicious things. It has created a nation of hypochondriacs with depression, bipolar disorder, GERD, Restless Legs, insomnia, seasonal allergies and assorted pain, mood and “risk” conditions and it has reduced doctors to order takers and gate keepers.