That's pretty much Mr. King's exact argument. And it is an extremely persuasive one and you and Mr. King make it very well.The fact does remain however, that big pharma has been allowed to advertise their products, the way they now do, to astronomically boost profits, and in doing so (specifically, in the way they do them), in my opinion, they irresponsibly prey upon our all to human need to find our very own, make us feel all better, medical magic bullets.
And i would agree that it's probably better to not have advertisements at all than the state of advertisements now where 1. The benefits are portrayed as all sunshine and rainbows and fairie dust and happiness with happy music and the side effects and potential hazards are listed in 15 seconds at the end. I get that the present situation is probably bad and i agree with them that there are thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of people dead because of the vioxx comercials.
Where i will disagree strongly is in the whole idea that the people seeking out the drugs are being big babies, asking Daddy to make it all better. In my experience it's not that at all. You want to live. I could barely get out of bed, to move or bend in any way at all was agony. I was walking like an old man and i was in my early 40s. Yeah, i wanted a Dr. to make it better, but i don't think i was being whiny. Plus, isn't it the Dr's Job to make it better? Isn't that the function of medicine to make it better? Are we asking big daddy to make it better if we go to a Dr. for a fever or pneumonia? I don't think so. Why do we consider people babies if they go for a chronic condition?
In a way you can use SK's argument against taking ANY medication. In the entire pharmacology class i'm taking i've yet to come by ONE medication, including the over the counter medications that does not have some side effects. Here's what it says about tylenol:
Gastrointerological: Hepatic failure, hepatoxicity (overdose or use with alcohol) Genitourany: Renal failure (high doses/ chronic use) Hematological: Neurtropenia, pancytopenia, leukopenia Derm: rash, urticaria.
Check concentrations of liquid preparations. Errors have resulted in serious liver damage. The drug is dosed by weight according to age and the dose must be exact.
Sounds scary, but i'm still going to take it if i have a headache. I just won't take more than 4000 mg a day and i won't take it with alcohol. Problem solved. I'm not being a baby or a whiner and i'm not expecting a miracle from the "snake oil". I have a headache i want it to go away and the potential benefits far outweigh the potential dangers.
Same thing is true with Humira. I regularly go to the Doctors to get my blood drawn to make sure there's no liver damage, i don't take it if i have a cold or flu. As long as i know the risks and the proper precautions i think there's nothing wrong with me taking it.
There already is regulation as to how drugs are advertised. They're not listing all the things wrong with drugs at the end because they're just all that honest. They're doing it becuase regulations make them. My proposal is to just add a few more regs, make them give as much time to the potential problems as the benefits, don't allow the music or the selling. As Chriss Rock says, Crack sells crack. If a drug works it doesn't need a sales pitch.