Oh, how I long for the days of Viagra commercials on TV. Yes, they were incredibly embarrassing to watch when I sat with my 11 year old daughter. But at least they made up the vast majority of drug ads.
Yeah, I’d love to see those twin lawn tubs again. I never understood what this symbolism was. A little neighbor once said to his father when he was not feeling well: “Do you know what you need, dad? Cialis for daily use.”
These days you turn on the television and are bombarded with advertisements for all kinds of drugs. For ailments I’ve never even heard of in some cases. I promise you if you watch an hour of television right now you’ll see ads for drugs, car dealerships, drugs, car insurance companies, drugs, personal injury lawyers, drugs , cell phones and other drugs. No wonder our prescriptions cost so much – drug companies spend a fortune on TV ads.
I once told a doctor about all those ads and he said he hated them. He said patients came to his office asking for a drug they had seen advertised on TV and were furious when he refused to prescribe it for them because it was not suitable for their medical problems. . So they’re taking the word from a TV commercial rather than their expert who went to medical school?
My doctor told me he thinks any drug you need a prescription for should be banned from advertising. He was right. The purpose of advertising is to create a need for something. And that’s fine with iPhones and soft drinks. But with medicine, not so much.
So, now that we’ve established that prescription drug advertising probably isn’t helpful, what are the chances that such ads will be banned on TV? It’s easy. Zero. Zipper. No.
The reason is simple: all that advertising is making so much money that broadcasters would oppose any suggestion that might kill their cash cow. In other words, if you want to keep watching “The Voice,” then just accept the fact that you’re going to be watching all those people with psoriasis exclaiming about the wonders of one drug or another.
And as a bonus, you will hear the very long list of disgusting side effects caused by various drugs. I mean, honestly, if you really listen to the disclaimer (which makes up about 40% of every drug ad) and hear that possible side effects include death, would you run to your local CVS for get it?
The more I think about it, the more I think I’ve developed a moderate to severe dislike of all those drug ads. Does the prescription I need PBS?
Chris Core is a former radio and television personality from Washington, DC who now lives in Pass-a-Grille. He is the recipient of the Edward R. Murrow Award for Outstanding Achievement in Broadcast Journalism.