Thursday, June 21, 2012

Tell Your Doctor To Grow A Pair

Why are pharmaceuticals advertised  on television?


After all, you can't write the prescription: only your doctor can.


So what gives?


 The drug companies are spending billions of dollars on a bet.



They are betting that your doctor is a wimp.


 Your doctor, with years of medical school training, residency programs, and finally, the benefit of experience in practice.


Sadly, this paragon of the Hippocratic oath is no match for Madison Avenue.


Medicine X may be the perfect solution.


Or maybe the ailment calls for no drugs at all.


But then the patients head to the physician's office,  zombie-like, repeating the mantra: Cymbalta, Cymbalta, Cymbalta.



What's a practitioner to do?


The lady in the examination room will not be happy unless she leaves with the Rx that the handsome actor described during a break in Jeopardy.


These commercials are extremely well produced.


So well produced that the ads create a national tension that can't be relieved unless the pills are released into the medicine cabinets of the masses.


Here's my problem.


Maybe Cymbalta  isn't such a great prescription.


Maybe it's less effective and has more side effects than the inexpensive alternative.


I have  seen the antidepressant pitches that conclude with this warning: suicide may occur.




Yes, it's true.


We Americans will beg for a little amber bottle containing pills that might make us kill ourselves.


Here's another neat trick.


Television advertising convinces us that we need medication for problems that we didn't even know  we had.


Every now and then my legs bother me a little bit while I'm trying to fall asleep.


Thank goodness television recently made me aware of something called Restless Leg Syndrome.


And of course, it's obvious that I must consume some chemical concoction approved by the FDA to deal with something that the drug companies have converted from an annoyance into a medical condition.


Thank goodness for the GlaxoWellcome Corporation.


I might have stumbled through life without whatever my restless legs crave.


Ain't advertising beautiful?




It's not.


I want doctors to be strong.


Stand up to me.


I don't know what I'm talking about.


Don't buckle under just because Pfizer spent a fortune to say hello during American Idol.


Help me get better with the pharmacy items that you think work best.


Even if that means no prescription at all.


God forbid.


After all, we have to pay for all those TV cameras.


Unfortunately, you may be paying for those cameras with your health.


Be smart.


Let your doctor decide.


 Francis Ford Coppola is a great director.


But he knows nothing about your glucose level.


Rely on the trained expert who does.


That sometimes wimpy person who is your doctor.


Tell him or her to man-up and ignore what you saw on TV.


You'll feel better in the end.


Merck and Astrazeneca are great companies.


I just want them to focus more on making the pills and less on pushing them.




  1. I was surprised today to see and editorial by you in N-H that I agreed with 100%,though I should say 110% since I would go a little farther. Congress should pass laws prohibiting direct marketing of prescription drugs to users, like most other developed countries. The amount pharaceutical companies spend on advertising vastly exceeds what they spend or research, which is the primary reason there have been limited new drugs recently.

    Personally I don't pay attention to the adds, and evidently my doctors don't either. Most of the drugs they prescribe are generic.

    Don Dozer:

    1. Thanks for your kind words of support, especially since you seem so surprised to agree
      with me. I try to write from my heart so realize I am sincere even if wrong now and then. Thank you again sincerely.Dave Lynch

  2. Dave,
    YES! This is a well needed article. I wonder - Do people really listen to what they are saying on these commercials? I sit there and listen, thinking about all the side effects which more than cancel out the need for the drug. As a lawyer, you know - words DO have meaning! Doctor's need to do what is right by their patients. But I would also say that doctors are in the business of sickness, not wellness and it would be good to know a little about what is going on in your body. (Plus remember the perks these companies provide to doctors.) There's so much 'good' research available on-line that make this somewhat easy for the average, computer challenged person like me! I have actually told a doctor I will NOT go certain routes in treatment (like chemo or radiation) when this arrogant Doctor with questionable bedside mannars told me he might find cancer, after I asked just 2 questions which he didn't like. I looked him square in the eye with what I said, then went home and did my due dilligence to protect against what he tried to scare me about as a diagnosis. I expect honesty, but this is NOT how this doctor came across. BTW - No Cancer!
    Keep writing your blogs - they are GREAT!

    1. Thank you to one of the true leaders in our state. I just hope our citizens realize the gem they have in you.

  3. Dave,

    The link I've included (an article from 2008) gives pretty big clues to the agenda that is now federal law. I hope you are able to access this. Thanks for all you do. Becky

  4. Hi Dave,
    I used to think that if space aliens were monitoring our planet's TV waves, they would think we're beset with the "Three 'I's" - insomnia, incontinence, and impotence!
    Don Allen, DVM