For my peer review post, I decided to review “Pharmaceutical Prompt One” by Emilydieteics. From her post, I learned that the FDA does not require an exhaustive list of side effects to be discussed in commercials – I also learned that physicians feel pressured to prescribe a certain medication if a patient mentions it by name, when they saw it in an ad. I also learned that actors, as of 2008, were not legally allowed to play doctors prescribing the medication – perhaps the strange commercials that sometimes pop up (I’m thinking particularly about the bladder that holds hands with it’s person). Perhaps limitations in what can be presented make for some wacky writers rooms.
I think anyone could benefit from learning this information, but those who consume more traditional media, such as cable watchers or those who read magazines, may want to be most aware of this information, because many of these advertising rules seem to be catered to these traditional media forms. Online advertising, while needing to be truthful, seems to be a little less strictly regulated than print and broadcast.
The strongest part of this contribution, in my opinion, is that they mention, in very plain terms, without embellishment, an effective solution. They say “An acceptable public health solution is to require companies to provide and exhaustive and detailed list of the side effects to consumers and to only allow endorsements from patients with which the drug has succeeded in doing its job.” This is a definitive statement that I feel truly contributed to the blog in an effective way, offering some personal insight; as well as utilizing strong verbiage and thoughtful rhetorical device.
The weakest part of this contribution is perhaps the paragraph spacing and the general formatting of the post – I feel, especially because this a blog format, that the author could have benefitted from breaking up the second paragraph. It felt a bit long and monotonous after a while, and I think if there were some space, it would allow the piece to breathe and for the information to be communicated more effectively.
During proofing, I found one spelling error and eight minor punctuation errors. The spelling error was “adds” in lieu of ‘ad’s’ in the first paragraph. The punctuation errors included missing commas in the first paragraph after the words ‘medications’; ‘slides’; and ‘practice’. In the second paragraph, punctuation errors included a missing comma after ‘consumer’; ‘doctors’; and ‘illness’; as well as a needed movement of apostrophe in ‘patients”. I would also advise to change ‘prescription only’ to ‘prescription-only’ by introducing a dash, for readability.
One part that wanted me to read more on this topic was most definitely the rules about what can be in advertisements – I really want to know more about the strange world of designing and pitching something that complies with the FDA but also sells pills.
Overall, I would rate this post a 3/4.