Essay about Advertising Ethics

1274 Words6 Pages
The age of advertising today is not what it used to be years ago. Pharmaceutical companies are spending on average billions of dollars to market their drugs directly to the consumers. With this comes a potential harm to some consumers due to the fact that they feel like they are free to ask for anything that may stop the symptoms they have. Should the FDA take a stand in putting a stop to how certain drugs are marketed, or just continue to let it get out of control? Who should be able to control the prescriptions: the patient or the doctor?
Take the drug Prozac for our first example: it’s in rock lyrics, magazines, books and billboards. I don’t think there are too many people who have not heard of it or that
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Prozac commercials let these people know that a (fairly) effective treatment exists, and also reduce the stigma attached to seeking help for mental troubles”.(Vol.344)
Since the European government pays for most prescription drugs they oppose the direct to consumer advertising for the fear it will cause an increase in drug pricing. Of course the companies that market whiskey and cigarettes are free to go on but the advertising for a heart pill cannot.
So, do doctors want direct to consumer ads bring them more patients? That is the topic in the November 1999 publication of The Medical Post. The story began of a patient who saw an advertisement on television about a drug for obesity. The ad went as far as listing the dangerous side effects of the drug such as heart disease or stroke but all the consumer could think about was getting off a few extra pounds.
As a result of this ad, the doctor had to spend an extra ten minutes with the patient to tell her why it was unsafe for her to take the drug. The same conversation has

been shared with many more patients causing delays in the waiting room and having an unhappy patient. This can lead to the patient seeking another doctor in hope of getting a prescription for the drug.
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