Idea: Stop Prescription Drug Advertisement

I was thinking about some of the problems facing our society (spurred by a recent Real Time with Bill Maher episode), which range from financial to medical. One common thread emerged, we spend far too much on treating disease than preventing it. Of course, there are many reasons for this, but one of the largest is the existing medical system rewards the biggest players in the system for treatment of a disease, not for prevention.

Many things need to change. Some things are fuzzy and hard to affect, like the attitude of the average person. Most, at least on the surface, would rather eat everything they want and then take a pill (or two, or three) to fix the problem they created. This thinking is wrong. Hopefully my little blog post will make someone change their attitude. Maybe.

A more practical, and immediate, change that our society can make is to stop prescription drug advertising. It’s a rather crazy system, if you look at what’s going on. The drug companies are appealing directly to the consumer, hoping they will tell their physician they want a particular drug. It works. Drug companies make billions, especially when they become a well-known name brand. That’s crazy.

We should [1] make prescription drug advertising illegal in all forms (tv/mags/radio/etc), and [2] not allow catchy names to be slapped over the medical name for a prescription drug (Cialis, Viagra, etc). Naming your drug ‘SuperliciousYummy’ should not be allowed when ‘loss of vision’ (Cialis) or any other nasty side effect is known.

Physicians shouldn’t be pressured into prescribing drugs which patients are screaming they need. We’re not teenagers in need of the latest Tickle-Me-Elmo, we’re talking about the health of our society, both medically and financially.

Turns out I’m not alone in my thoughts: