Kiwis and Eagles and Prescription Medication

The United States and New Zealand are unique in a very particular way: you’ll be able to see advertisements on television for different prescription drugs – you know, to mention to your doctor in case you suffer from any of the symptoms that the advertisement seems to mention.

They’re iconic for their awkwardness – whether it be the timing (watching an erectile dysfunction ad with family can be a tad offputting), or the endless barrage of symptoms (the joke that the drug will kill you before the actual disease does), the rule is unique to the US and New Zealand, two countries that share a language and an affinity for a bird (the bald eagle, and the kiwi, respectively), but are on completely different sides of the world.

While those will argue that it can offer some increased awareness of certain conditions, or treatments for conditions, and can give autonomy for patients, I think that this particular issue shouldn’t be something just given out.

Aside from the practical standpoint of it raising medical costs through a bloated advertising budget – I’m a public relations major, and I have come to fully understand that a television commercial campaign can become expensive. Other mediums tend to be less expensive for advertising, but in general, ads are expensive.

It also encourages people to ask for name brand, which, if a generic is available, should really be what is prescribed unless the taker has an allergy to binding ingredients in the generic, or something along those lines. If people specifically are able to get that same coverage for a name brand as a generic, when there is an alternative, it can bring up healthcare costs for all others and effectively raise premiums. Which, would be fine, if it was necessary: but when people are told that “Xyterna” (this is a fake name for a drug that I made up, if this is really the name of a prescription drug then I guess that’s the career path I should look into) is the way to go, many who may not be educated may demand to doctors thats what they want.

Not to mention: doctors should be making healthcare recommendations for patients, not the other way around. If that was the case, then I’m sure there’d be hundreds of people who were real proud of their ‘ice cream diet’ and how much it’s helping them lose weight.

I feel as though the protections that are in place in certain places are definitely a benefit: while I understand not everyone has the same worldview as me (that intervention through agencies and the ‘red tape’ of process and time, is, typically, the only way to make sure that things are not done for the gain of corporate interests), I do think, generally, it’s in peoples best interest to make sure that the things that they’re consuming are safe for them, and in the case of advertising on behalf of a pharmaceutical, it can be potentially dangerous. It’s a gross thing to me, advertisement for healthcare, though again: that’s one that’s up in the air, depending on your worldview.


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