My final glossary post is regarding pharmaceuticals. This is an area of consumer health that I feel is not researched, uncovered, or questioned enough. Patients take medications blindly, as prescribed by doctors, that are concocted by companies we know little about, with few regulations and lenient testing. We as consumers view commercials with endless lists of side effects and still take these medications.
Direct to consumer ads: DTC advertisements are commercials and ads that are tailored to the public with actors that are not doctors, telling uninformed consumers what type of medications they should be taking. We must as consumers remember that although medications are meant to heal and help people, the companies that produce them are just that, companies! Money runs businesses, and this will always drive the pharmaceutical industry.
Generic: In relation to medications, generic refers to the off brand medications that are not produced by big name companies. These can sometimes be a better choice for consumers for their health and their finances. The drugs are not always exactly the same, and neither are patients. Therefore, it may be better for a patient’s condition to go with a generic over a name brand, or vice versa.