Monday, June 04, 2007


What the Drug Industry DOESN'T Want you to Know

Have you ever noticed how many TV ads promote drugs directly to YOU...for conditions you didn't even know existed, or for problems that don't even bother you? But now you're wondering....

Critics of the massive pharmaceutical industry are paying attention, too, with several online campaigns to raise public awareness. The first, by the Media Education Foundation, promotes a documentary called "Big Bucks, Big Pharma," which examines the tremendous (and somewhat unchecked) growth of direct-to-consumer advertising, which is a fairly recent phenomenon. There was a time when drug reps and drug companies could market ONLY to doctors....there were no direct-to-the-public TV ads for Viagra and Nexium and Celebrex and know the drill. Print ads for drugs appeared only in medical journals/trade publications, and TV was not graced with dancing flowers selling drugs, ladies in the park doing Tai Chi as if that made taking a drug any more sensible, auctioneers getting all teary-eyed over cancer drugs.

You can watch another video, "PHARMED OUT," at features a former Eli Lilly drug rep who talks about the secret side effect that the drug company don't want people on Zyprexa (an anti-psychotic drug) to know about: namely, obesity. The drug makes you fat, and people on Xyprexa are also therefore at higher risk of diabetes. But the drug rep says he and his fellow reps were "instructed to downplay that side effect" and talk up its other positives. The entire clip is about 5 minutes long.

Surgery Sucks...Drugs Suck just as much. Remember that next time you're in pain. Or have restless leg syndrome.

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