Pharmaceutical Industry – Prompt 1

DTC ads are used in New Zealand and the United States. Direct-to-consumer advertising is used to inform patients who are already suffering from disease and raises awareness of treatment options. While DTC ads intend to serve a great purpose, the reliability and credibility of these ads is questionable. These ads are driven to influence choice rather than inform patients. Therefore, these ads relay information that pushes patients to favor the use of these drugs. For example, patients see advertisements on television regarding psoriasis and a treatable medicine for it. A suffering patient may then go to their doctor and deliberately ask for that medicine by name. When this happens these patients aren’t considering the risk factors that may come with the drug because of the claims suggested by the DTC ad. All of which is something I think needs to change. When I sometimes hear these ads I do engage, as I am a patient suffering from psoriasis. However, I am not influenced by my decision to medicate in order to “cure” it. DTC ads target the vulnerable and ill informed. I feel that this practice should be modified because it is false advertising. As for coming up with an acceptable public health solution I think we all play a part. Doctors should further inform these suffering patients, patients should acquire information about the drug before jumping the gun, drug or pharmaceutical companies should be focused on helping suffering individuals not profiting on them and society as a whole needs to be better about producing advertisements that don’t speak to its individuals as vulnerable consumers.

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