Drug companies spend millions of dollars a year on advertising. They often use celebrities or play on your emotions to gain your trust. So far this year drug makers have spent $2.8 Billion to gain your trust.
When you receive a prescription from your physician, you assume that you are getting the best drug for your condition. But what if you are just getting the drug that had the biggest advertising push? Patient advocates state that some healthcare marketing is crossing the line by twisting the truth about the risk and effectiveness of their products.
Before insisting that you physician give you the newest drug advertised, consider the following:
- Where did the information on this drug come from? Online forums and flashy ads can be full of misinformation. Be very cautious. A 2014 study in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association found that 90 percent of the data in Wikipedia regarding medical conditions was inaccurate. Keep in mind that Wikipedia can be edited by anyone, including an employee of a pharmaceutical company.
- Who is selling the product? Celebrity endorsement is huge right now, but keep in mind, they are being paid big bucks to tell you what the pharmaceutical company wants you to hear.
- Are the promises overly promising or vague? Oftentimes patients with terminal illnesses are given false hope by misleading ads. If the promises sound too good to be true, they probably are.
- Is the new drug really necessary? When new drugs hit the market, there is only a brief span of time that it can be sold exclusively before the generic forms hit the market. This gives the company only a short time to aggressively market the drug and make a return on their investment. Most companies will create a new drug that is nearly similar to an existing drug and relabel it with a new name in order to create new hype and a new marketing campaign.
- Is your doctor being paid by or receiving perks from drug companies? Check out Dollars for Docs, a website that tracks payments made to healthcare professionals and facilities.
The bottom line is, be skeptical of pharmaceutical marketing and do your own research from reputable sources. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Web MD and the Mayo Clinic are good places to start. Have honest conversations with you doctor and as always, be vigilant with your health.
Author: Tim Misny | For more than 37 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injury, medical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus, Dayton and neighboring communities.” You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 1 (855) 800-0384.