Q. Commercials that advertise prescription medicines on TV are my pet peeve. How can we STOP them? I would like to see them go the way of cigarette commercials.

Doctors should be prescribing the drugs people need without the rest of the world being subjected to these irritating commercials. I’m sure many others agree with me. How can we make our voice heard?

A. We have taken many informal polls and found very few people enjoy watching prescription drug ads. Doctors aren’t fond of them either, since patients may try to press for brand name drugs they have seen on TV.

The FDA seems disinclined to do anything to curb these commercials. A ban would require an act of Congress.

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  1. Den
    Reply

    The television commercial shown are usually forced anti-psychotics ending with the word your child. Such a sad scene viewing 210 pharmaceutical television broadcasts per day.

  2. Jbl
    Reply

    I despise these commercials and I think we should reengage on this discussion. Also, we should setup a poll and distribute in a form of a petition to get them removed. I am happy to help.
    Jim

  3. R Royer
    Reply

    I am so tired of these Rx commercials. To me, the pharmaceutical companies are no different than drug pushers on the streets. They just found a legal way to push drugs on television. Putting ideas in peoples minds that they need these drugs, when really, they don’t. And lets not forget about SUGGESTIVE ILLNESSES, where people are told that they might have this new acronym of an illness that appears to be made up. And with the millions of dollars that these companies spend to make these stupid commercials, they are driving the cost of the actual medicine up to unreachable prices, so even if it is an actual legitimate medicine that might work, people cant afford them.
    One thing that they don’t mention is the amount of people that take these medicines, that it doesn’t do a damn thing for. So, with the money that was spent to get these inefficient drugs, the pharmaceutical company pockets this money, leaving us broke and still sick. You don’t hear them saying, money back guaranteed if unsatisfied, do you?
    In my opinion, my family doctor keeps up with the medicines available to the public and he is the ONLY person that should be talking to me about medicines. Not the stupid television.

  4. J.D.
    Reply

    My wife and I are lucky and do not need to take any prescription drugs. We are so tired of the commercials and remember the good ol’ days when there were not any of them. Avoiding them with a Tivo is starting to look good to me!

  5. KB
    Reply

    How can you refuse the drugs that you’re told you need to stay healthy by your doctor? What gets me is when they try to “sell” you the medication and you’re not even qualified to assess your own health. Then the medication has one good effect (your leg stops wiggling) and you get 15 side effects: daytime sleepiness, nausea, aggravate sleep apnea, vomiting, etc.

  6. MrDFW
    Reply

    Some 235 billion a year is spent on prescriptions with only 8 billion on new drug prescriptions –
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/27/business/media/27drugads.html
    This tells only part of the story. What about the return of last years new addicts and the years before adding to the 235 billion. The pharms rely on addiction to perpetuate their existence. How more sinister could one get? Sure by cutting off the advertising on media the bottom line would be hurt for the companies who need continued profit beyond exorbitant, but they also need to feel they have the upper hand in making policy.
    Any bully in any situation fears the loss of his ability to stand and portray he is bigger and better than his questioner. Therefore if we try to remove their ability to advertise, they will only find other ways to express their domination. I can see it already: Take this medication or else you will die earlier than if you did not take our drugs.
    We as a culture should stand together with the rest of the world and not allow prescription drugs to be an everyday part of our lives.
    This alone will stop the bullying.
    DFW

  7. Connie
    Reply

    I agree with you completely. I get so disgusted every time I want to relax and watch tv. Some commercial is trying to push some medicine, and the part about the possible side effects is just as long as the rest of the ad! I really get ticked off over those Viagra ads my God! There are already enough sex-crazed maniacs in this country already without recruiting more of them! I purposely watched the Canadian station to see if they showed anything like the commercials on American television, so far I haven’t seen it.
    Are the people who are promoting all this garbage insane? Or do they really brainwash people into buying all these medicines? I know it’s not everyone in America, but there is certainly some corruption, and subliminal poison going on.

  8. mike m
    Reply

    As for me I too am sick of these druggies hawking their drugs all through the television shows. No wonder why we are gouged to death on medicine while the Canaidians are paying fair prices. Get rid of these ads and medicine could be cheaper. What ever happened to the good ole days of television when we had family friendly shows and ads to put with them. As for me I either pressed “MUTE” on the remote or I watch movies either on TCM, FMC, or my dvd’s where they are all completely drug free.

  9. agy
    Reply

    I recently read that only 7% of the world’s population lives in the U.S.A. but 62% of the world’s prescription medication is taken in the U.S.A. !!!

  10. DJS
    Reply

    OMG – I am SO sick of all the drug commercials on TV. Fortunately TIVO right through most of them. With magazines, before I read them, I go through and rip out all the cards, ads, etc. In mags, drug ads are easy to tear out because they’re usually printed on both sides of one page (all the warnings on back side of ad), so you don’t lose the content.

  11. Denise G.
    Reply

    The USA is only one of two countries currently allowing drug commercials on television and the other country is considering legislation to ban this type of advertising. Let’s write our congress and tell them we want this stopped. When we tell teens to avoid drugs, but have hours of commercials for drugs – that doesn’t make sense.

  12. Lynn
    Reply

    While I agree with mr that it is good to know all the potential side effects before taking a medicine, I don’t think we need commercials for this information. All such information is provided with your prescription, usually by the pharmacy and often as an insert with the actual medicine packaging. This is a FDA regulation that all such side effects be provided.

  13. mr
    Reply

    I don’t enjoy listening to the drug ads, but in that they are factual, i.e. informing us of potential side effects, I’d certainly rather be informed prior to taking them than not. Considering all the possible negative side effects it surprises me that the pharmaceutical companies do air them. I view them as educational and am glad that they are required to ‘inform’ the public, as it’s possible that people may not read the fine print that comes with prescriptions.

  14. Frank S.
    Reply

    I rely on my doctor to prescribe proper medications. These commercials really irritate me — especially, since I know that they indirectly add to the price of the medicine.

  15. Larry W.
    Reply

    I think the commercials are only the tip of the iceberg. The pharmaceutical industry has dominated the medical field in America. In Japan, e.g., doctors are much freer to offer hyperbaric oxygen treatment, accupuncture — a variety of options that may best fit the patient’s need. We are a nation of druggies!

  16. JAD
    Reply

    I am a retired healthcare professional and like other retirees am disgusted by the exorbitant cost of medications. Perhaps if Congress legislated against TV drug ads (which I am sure are extremely expensive), our drug costs would be more affordable. If Canada can do it, why not the USA? But I can just hear the drug lobbyists now!!

  17. JP
    Reply

    Don’t forget about magazines too! These ads are taking up a lot of space in those also.
    The more ads I see on TV and in magazines for prescription medicines, the less I trust the medical and pharmaceutical profession and the more I look to natural cures for what ails me.

  18. alxzba
    Reply

    Do not blame your government for TV ads pushing drugs. If the public refused to purchase the drugs, the companies would quit airing the ads. Don’t rely on government control of your life. The gvt should regulate when companies violate ethical standards.

  19. Bob
    Reply

    The TV commercials for drugs are disgusting. Some are offensive. I turn the channel when the E.D. commercials are run. Drugs are being pushed at us from very angle. We are certainly a sick society. The drug companies tell us so every day. I am thankful they were not on the air during my childhood.

  20. Ruby
    Reply

    I wish that was the same rule here in the US. Doctors should prescribe real name brand medication that is proven to help people. No commercials and untested/experimental generic drug confusion. All of this greed isn’t helping anyone.

  21. GC
    Reply

    These types of Rx commercials are banned on Canadian TV.
    Life in the US is all about greed, money, money, Rx’s, Rx’s and more Rx’s…blame your state and federal governments

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