Prescription Drug Ads

One of my pet peeves is watching prescription drug ads on TV. A typical tag line is, "Ask your doctor if X is right for you." My problem with these ads is that they encourage we everyday, untrained, people to engage in self-medication and to practice medicine without a licence. Physicians are well qualified to determine the best and proper drug treatment for us. Unless we have been to medical or pharmacy school, we do not have that knowledge. And we aren’t going to get it from watching TV advertising.

I’ve heard anecdotal evidence of physicians being pressured by their patients to get a particular prescription drug. Of course, that is exactly what the drug companies want to have happen. They want to improve their bottom line and they apparently don’t want ethics to get in the way. They are willing to spend a great deal of money to advertise controlled substances to the general public. This is money that would be better used to lower the price of prescription drugs and be used for further research.

It is wrong for patients to demand prescription drugs from their physicians. It is wrong for pharmaceutical companies to market their controlled substances to the general public. These actions by the drug companies are immoral and unethical.

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