In relation to Direct-to-Consumer ads, my top 3 talking points would be:
- Actors in commercials can be just that, actors. It seems morally wrong to have people with no medical training that do not hold the ability to prescribe medications to endorse them to the masses. These actors may have no actual knowledge of the effects of the drug they are promoting, I feel that drugs should only be advertised by people who can in good conscience understand the consequences of taking them.
- These more expensive brand name drugs that may not even be more beneficial to the patient, are being asked for directly due to commercials. Patients do not always know what is best for them, but a doctor is likely to prescribe something that they specifically ask for. Rather than the doctor evaluate their needs prior to the patient asking for a drug to be prescribed to them. A generic drug may actually work better for a patient, since every patient is different. This simply fuels the pharmaceutical industry and allows companies to sway patients towards paying for their drug rather than having the patients’ best interest at heart.
- My final talking point, is the quote from the article saying “Encouraging patients to seek medical attention that may help them manage their conditions and avoid unneeded hospital stays or surgeries.” Pushing drugs on the public via commercials is not encouraging them to see their doctor. This may actually cause them to self-diagnose because they feel they have symptoms relating to a disease they may not actually have.
I think steps towards helping the consumer and the public would be to eliminate these ads, or at least have actual medical doctors endorse the drugs. Those with proper training can understand the side effects and the physiology behind certain diseases and the drugs used to treat them. Doctors should also be encouraged to inform their patients who come asking for these big name drugs about alternatives and generics.